NEW ULM - The German-Bohemian Heritage Society remembered the life and work of Graeme "Flip" Schulke with a display of his work Saturday night at the New Ulm Country Club. Local historian George Glotzbach, a friend of Schulke until he passed way in 2008, gave the presentation.
Schulke was born on June 24,1930 in St. Paul. He lived with his father until he ran away from home to live with his grandparents in New Ulm due to negative family life at home. He remained living in New Ulm until he graduated from New Ulm High School.
Glotzbach said New Ulm adopted Schulke when he came to town, so Schulke always remained proud to call New Ulm his home throughout his life.
Staff photo by Josh Moniz
George Glotzbach holds up a photograph of students of the 1949 graduating class of New Ulm High School taken by “Flip” Schulke. Glotzbach lead a presentation on Schulke’s life at the German-Bohemian Heritage Society meeting held Saturday at the New Ulm Country Club.
Schulke participated in gymnastics in high school, which was where is earned his nickname "Flip." He also started his passion for photography, taking pictures for a local drug store, the high school newspaper and the school year book. At this time, he also started his habit of keeping all of his photography negatives, which had accumulated to over 450,000 sheets of negatives by the time of his death.
After New Ulm, Schulke earned a degree in photo-journalism from Macalester College in 1954. He went on from there to a career as a free-lance photographer for major publicans like TIME.
Schulke's most well know work was with many famous individuals before they became national figures. He photographed the early US astronauts before they became national figureheads. He took a very famous picture of Cassius Clay, Jr., who later changed his name to Muhammaid Ali, training underwater.
Schulke is also famous for his pictures of the early Civil Rights Movement, during which he became the top photographer for Dr. Martin Luther, Jr. before he gained full national prominence. He also went on to photograph several famous figures ranging from Fidel Castro to several U.S. presidents. For his work, Schulke received numerous photography awards and his photography have been in high demand for reprints for years.
Glotzbach showed off several photographs that Schulke took while in New Ulm. Glotzbach said that Schulke had personally asked him to take control of them after his death and make sure they remained in New Ulm, the town he loved. Glotzbach said finally received the photographs from Schulke's estate in June and plans to distribute them to organization like the Brown County Historical Society for public display in the coming months.