Sunday, July 22, 2012

Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum

The entrance to the oasis is almost hidden off a busy road in central Austin, but the search is worth it.  Three acres of green, jeweled by imagination made bronze and stone--48 sculptures of pain, love and joy, belief and whimsy amid tall trees and slow water. 

Charles Umlauf taught art and created sculpture at the University of Texas over a span of 40 years, eventually donating approximately 100 pieces and his 3 acre garden to the city of Austin.  His work graces national and international sites, but the Umlauf Sculpture Garden holds the largest collection. 

He was a master of the human figure and of conveying emotion.  

The earlier pieces on display express the pain and despair of WWII atrocities. The gaunt figures and haunted faces of those sculptures still speak.

Later, love was a favorite theme.

He must have loved the love between mother and child,

the pleasure
and the joy of romantic love.

Some works are philosophical.

Man's desire to transcend.

And the risk.

Around a bend in the path, animals frolic.

A rhino ponders.

And a hippo smiles.

For $3 you can gift yourself with a few hours of pleasure at Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, 605 Robert E. Lee Road, Austin,, 512-445-5582.

Copyright 2009-2012 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. Been there twice and would go again. World class art in a serene setting...

  2. I'm dating myself here - I recall so clearly the excitement and anticipation when the idea of the sculpture garden was born and support was sought throughout the community. It is indeed an island of calm and green, an injection of expressed art and visual evocation of the need for creation and re-creation as part of our daily struggles. I'm grateful for what might be an introduction to some and a reminder to others of a true Austin treasure.

  3. Another sculpture garden to visit, among the BBQ, live music, and other Austin fun. The pieces with backgrounds of plantings, trees and walls / boulders really grabs me from this distant look. And not being located on a certain campus north of downtown, I can be safer as another October nears...

  4. David, you'd be safe anywhere in Austin if you wore burnt orange...


My readers are all geniuses. Can't wait to see what you have to say.