Umlauf Museum recreates sculptor’s studio

For 50 years, sculptor and seminal University of Texas art professor Charles Umlauf lived on a bluff above Barton Springs Road where he maintained a studio in which he created his figurative modernist sculptures that brought him significant national attention.

USE THIS PHOTO ON TOP OF THREE SAME SIZE LEDE 03.22.13 -- A path leads to the Umlauf studio with its high, north-facing windows. Alberto Martínez AMERICAN-STATESMAN
A path leads to the Umlauf studio with its high, north-facing windows. Alberto Martínez AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Before his death in 1994, Umlauf donated his property to the city. And on the parcel below the bluff, the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum opened in 1991.

Yet his bluffside studio and home stayed private. And Umlauf’s studio remained untouched, materials and tools in place as if the artist had simply stepped out.

We were allowed into Umlauf’s studio for a story in 2013, a year after the sculptor’s widow died and the museum took formal possession of the Umlauf home and studio.

 A work table in the Umlauf in the Umlauf studio. Alberto Martínez AMERICAN-STATESMAN
A work table in Umlauf’s studio. Alberto Martínez AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Now, in a creative undertaking, Umlauf museum curators have re-created the artist’s studio in the museum gallery.

A pair of built-in vignettes of original tools, workbench, drafting table, sculpture stands and artwork pulled directly from Umlauf’s actual studio anchor the display. Interactive areas offer visitors the chance to try out their sculpting skills and create a portrait of Charles Umlauf in clay.

“Studio in the Museum: An Interactive Recreation of Charles Umlauf’s Studio”
Museum hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
Exhibit continues through Oct 16
Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, 605 Robert E. Lee Road 



And check out our guide and map of Austin’s museums.



Author: Jeanne Claire van Ryzin

Jeanne Claire van Ryzin is the arts critic for the Austin American-Statesman. She writes about visual art, theater, dance, music, performance, public art, architecture and just about any combination thereof.

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