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Robert A. Uyvari was a well known gay lifestyle artist in the midwest and San Francisco, and became internationally known by the cover art displayed in "Places of Interest Map Guide Book" for three years running (approx. 1980-1984). His work was widely displayed in Milwaukee, Chicago, San Francisco and points between. His work was featured on the cover of Wisconsin's "In Step" magazine on four occasions, as well as within the pages of numerous publications nationwide.
Originally from Wind Lake, Wisconsin, Uyvari grew up in Milwaukee. He worked in various mediums with many subjects, and differing styles. His work was added to the decor of numerous Milwaukee gay bars over the years, including Wreck Room, M&M, Your Place, Circus Circus, Club 219, and BallGame. Perhaps the most prominent was a large round painting "Fallen Angel" which hung above the front bar in Your Place.
From about 1975 to 1984, he spent time between San Francisco and Milwaukee. While a resident of San Francisco, Robert won numerous "Cable Car Awards" for his artistry. His work was prominently featured at the time in both The Eagle and The Arena gay bars in that city. During this time he also received several local and national commissions, including drawing the cover art for the international gay guide, "Places of Interest".
Meanwhile, in 1980 Robert was hired to design and supervise construction of the first large outdoor patio for a gay bar in Milwaukee, at the M&M Club bar. Beginning late in 1980 Robert was also the chief designer for Club 219 bar in Milwaukee: the entire design concept in that club was his, and he also created several paintings for the bar.
After briefly living in Kentucky with his lover Ron, Robert moved back to Milwaukee early in 1984.
Uyvari died at 8:00pm on Wednesday, June 4, 1986 in his East Side apartment in Milwaukee. He was survived by his lover Ron; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Uyvari of Milwaukee; brothers Dick and Mike, of Chicago; Christopher, of Philadelphia; and Joe and sister Mary, of Houston. A memorial service was held Wednesday, June 11th, 1986 at Villa Terrace in Milwaukee. A similar service was held in San Francisco on June 7th.
Robert's body was cremated, and plans were to scatter his ashes over San Francisco Bay, per his wishes. Memorials were suggested to the Milwaukee AIDS Project in his name.
The "Fallen Angel" painting, which for many years hung in the Your Place bar, was sold at auction at the April 1990 "Make A Promise" dinner for $3,855 to benefit the Milwaukee AIDS Project. Another "Angel" painting, of unknown origin, was sold at auction at a later Make A Promise Dinner.
Credits: information from Wisconsin Light and In Step articles;
Photos at ages 20, 35, and Fallen Angel color photo courtesy one of Robert's relatives, John Uhlman;
Web site concept, design and contents by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: September-2023.
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