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Designers & Creators Directory

Šime Vulas

(SHEE-meh VOO-lahs)

Birthplace: Drvenik, Croatia

Heritage: Croatian

Date born: March 17th 1932

Date deceased: June 8th, 2018 (age 87)

Edu: Applied Arts Sch., Split (grad. 1953)

Edu: Acad. of Fine Arts, Zagreb (grad. 1958)


Born in the coastal Croatian town of Drvenik in 1932, Šime Vulas is one of the most prominent contemporary sculptors during the post-WWII 20th century era of Croatia. In his younger years, he initially pursued the career of carpentry, attending an industrial school in Split, however, he left the career after dissatisfaction with this direction. He switched his focus to sculpture, enrolling at the School for Applied Arts in Split, graduating in 1953. He went on to further study at the Academy of Fine arts in Zagreb, studying under famed Croatian sculptor Vanja Radauš, graduating in 1958. Immediately after graduating, he continued on with Radauš as his assistant professor. In his early career, one of the most prevailing themes of  the work of Vulas is 'the totem' as a symbol of 'tradition', with many of his sculptures exhibiting the recurring motif of repeatedly stacked geometric shapes. Continuing the traditional theme of 'totems', the one medium Vulas enjoyed working in the most was wood, which he said allowed him a 'freer morphology' and greater ability to connect with more primitive styles of art where he could literally 'cut' his characters out of the wood's grain.


His most ambitious commission came to Vulas in the late 1960s when he was asked to create a memorial complex commemorating the WWII victims from Podhum and Grobnik who were executed during the region's Axis occupation. This spomenik at Podhum remains one of his most notable artistic achievements. In the late 1970s, Vulas began to experiment with more dramatic Biblical themes in his work, which focused highly in lights and darks, the crucifix and religious forms accented in color, with many of these works being installed in monasteries. He was brought on as a professor in 1987 by his former school, the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb (where he worked until his teaching retirement in 2004). Then, in 1988, he was commissioned to create a sculpture for the Olympic Park in Seoul, South Korea during the 1988 Winter Olympics. Through the 1990s and 2000s, Vulas would return to crafting wood sculptures in his classic 'totem' motif. In 2010, Vulas was given the highest Croatian artistic honor, the "Vladimir Nazor" award for a lifetime of contributions and achievement in arts and culture. Over his life, Vulas created hundreds of works, putting on dozens of solo exhibitions. Vulas passed away at the age of 87 on June 8th, 2018 in Zagreb.

Works by this Designer:

This is a listing of a number of memorials, monuments, cultural centers and other notable Yugoslav-era civic works by Šime Vulas. Those sites listed in the upper part of this section have profile pages, while those listed in the lower part do not yet have completed profile pages. This list also includes non-Yugoslav international projects that Vulas created, as well his unrealized works for which models only exist. This list is not exhaustive and will be added to over time.

Yugoslav Works with profile pages:

Click photos to go to page

Podhum, HR

Name: Monument to the Victims of Fascism

Year: completed 1970

Makarska, HR

Name: Monument to the Revolution

Year: completed 1974, with Matija Salaj

Yugoslav Works without profile pages:


Labin, HR

Name: Abstract work at Dubrova Sculpt. Park

Year: completed 1975

Location: N45°06'54.3", E14°06'54.9"


Aranđelovac, SRB

Name: 'Jedra' at Park Bukovičke Banje

Year: completed 1967

Location: N44°18'23.9", E20°33'10.8"


Porec, HR

Name: "Sails' Sculpture

Year: completed 1963?

Location: N45°13'26.1", E13°35'47.0"


Križevci, HR

Name: "Grupa" sculpture in town square

Year: completed 1976

Location: N46°01'26.4" E16°32'46.1"

Kostanjevica na Krki, SLO


Name: 'Untitled' at Forma Viva

Year: completed 1963

Location: N45°50'06.3", E15°24'53.4"


Ludbreg, HR

Name: "Legend" at Elementary Music School

Year: completed 1980

Location: N46°15'03.6", E16°37'05.9"


Sliba, HR

Name: "Jedrilje" at waterfront

Year: completed 1997

Location: N44°22'28.9", E14°41'29.3"


Zagreb, HR

Name: 'Pair' on the Sava Embankment

Year: completed 2007

Location: N45°47'21.7", E15°57'57.3"

Slavonski brod-1.jpg

Slavonski Brod, HR

Name: "Franciscan Cross" at monastery

Year: completed 2004

Location: N45°09'08.4", E18°01'00.4"


Zagreb, HR

Name: "Jedra" at Academy of Fine Arts

Year: completed 2002

Location: N45°48'42.0", E15°57'45.4"

Zagreb, HR


Name: 'Forestress' at Park Opatovina

Year: completed 1994

Location: N45°49'01.9", E15°58'37.2"

International Works without profile pages:


Hořice, Czechia

Name: 'Curled Sails' at St. Gothard Sculp. Park

Year: completed 1969

Location: N50°22'01.6", E15°38'36.4"

Seoul, South Korea


Name: 'Legenda oblika' at Olympic Park

Year: completed 1987

Location: N37°30'57.8", E127°07'13.7"

Unrealized Memorial Projects:

This section contains a listing of design proposals for various memorial projects that were submitted to competitions for consideration, but were ultimately NOT the final proposals chosen by the selection juries for the memorial projects they were submitted for. Below each photo is detailed the monument project it was submitted for, as well as the year it was submitted in.

Kozara, BiH

Kozara concept2-1.jpg

Name: concept for Mon. to the Revolution

Year: proposed 1970

Zadar concept3.jpg

Zadar, HR

Name: concept for Mon. to Josip Broz Tito

Year: proposed 1982, project canceled

Matija Gubec monument concept, 1969.jpg

Gornja Stubica, HR

Name: concept for Mon. to Matija Gubec

Year: proposed 1969

Labin, HR

Labin, Croatia monument 1980.jpg

Name: concept for Mon. to Miner Fighters

Year: proposed 1980

Petrova Gora concept1.jpg

Petrova Gora, HR

Name: concept for Mon. to the Uprising

Year: proposed 1971

Selected Sources and More Information:

-Croatian Wiki article: "Šime Vulas"

-Moderna Galerija article: "Šime Vulas - Retrospective"

-Galerija Divila article: "Šime Vulas"

-Croatian Enciklopedija article: "Vulas, Šime"

-Novilist article: "Umro akademik Šime Vulas, autor spomenika Podhumskim žrtvama na Grobničkom polju" article: "Šime Vulas" [PDF]

-Adris Gallery book: "Šime Vulas" [PDF]

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