Charles Umlauf: One last sale for the city's sculptor

More than 100 works from the estate of an artist who embodied Austin are being offered for sale by his family

<i>Babe</i>, by Charles Umlauf
Babe, by Charles Umlauf

Charles Umlauf wasn't just an artist who lived in Austin; he was an artist who was Austin. The eclecticism of his work – including both the natural and the abstract, in media ranging from bronze to limestone to marble to wood – and its embrace of the earthly and the spiritual in equal measure was right in tune with the character of the city. And his sculptures have been so prominently displayed in and around buildings across the city (especially at the University of Texas, where he spent 40 years teaching art), he might be the city's artist of choice. The Michigan native, who moved to Austin with his wife, Angeline, in 1941, felt so blessed by Austin that in 1985 he and Angeline donated his studio and their home to the city in hopes that it could be made into a center for visual art. And just down the hill from that spot, the nonprofit Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum, in its 18th year, has given the city a permanent place to enjoy the artist's work.

Now, 14 years after the passing of this sculptor so closely identified with Austin, Austinites have a new opportunity to obtain his work for their own. Between 100 and 200 of the artworks remaining from the Charles Umlauf estate – many that have lived in the Umlauf home for decades – are being offered for sale by the artist's family through the Russell Collection. (Note: None of this art is from the Sculpture Garden and Museum collection.) The works, which range from small drawings to large sculptures, may be seen at the Russell Collection's gallery on West Sixth, where a reception will be held this weekend. At least two of Charles and Angeline's six children will be on hand to answer questions about the works (and perhaps about growing up in South Austin when it was still largely rural). The gallery will also arrange private tours of the estate for serious collectors.

"An Evening With Umlauf" will be held Saturday, April 5, 6-8pm, at the Russell Collection, 1137 W. Sixth. To RSVP, call 478-4440. For more information, visit

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Charles Umlauf
'Final Farewells'
'Final Farewells'
The last works from the estate of Master sculptor Charles Umlauf go up for sale

Robert Faires, Oct. 19, 2012

More by Robert Faires
Last Bow of an Accidental Critic
Last Bow of an Accidental Critic
Lessons and surprises from a career that shouldn’t have been

Sept. 24, 2021

"Daniel Johnston: I Live My Broken Dreams" Tells the Story of an Artist
The first-ever museum exhibition of Daniel Johnston's work digs deep into the man, the myths

Sept. 17, 2021


Charles Umlauf, Angeline Umlauf, Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum, Russell Collection

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle