Ulfert Wilke (1907–1987) was an internationally recognized painter, calligrapher and art collector connected to the abstract expressionism movement. He was born in Bavaria, Germany, and immigrated to the United States in 1938. He is best known for his large canvas paintings and highly detailed lithographs that were inspired by calligraphic writing. Wilke was deeply intrigued by the written language, and much of his work was derived from his abstract interpretation of the shapes, colors and meanings of writing that he found in all languages and forms, including the poetry and ancient engravings of Asia and the Middle East. He was an avidart collector, particularly of tribal art, and was the founding director of the University of Iowa Museum of Art.