UMLAUF Sculpture Garden & Museum

Austin, TX
United States
UMLAUF Sculpture Garden & Museum

Situated within Austin’s Barton Creek and Zilker Metropolitan Park area, this eight-acre site preserves the home of sculptor Charles Umlauf and his wife Angeline. In 1944, the couple purchased the abandoned house, sited atop a knoll, because it provided a sense of isolation and natural detachment. In 1956, the house was expanded and a studio with high, north-facing windows was constructed. Angeline transformed the formerly neglected, weed-choked site into landscaped gardens with flowering shrubs and stone-lined paths. Charles ornamented the gardens with his sculptures. In 1985, the couple donated their house, studio, and the two-acre property to the City, stipulating lifetime residency rights. In 1990, local landscape architects Coleman & Associates was commissioned to lay out a network of paths, advise on the placement of sculpture, and design a water feature and pedestrian bridge. A year later, the City opened the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden & Museum at the base of the hill on a six-acre parcel of Zilker Park adjacent to the house and studio. Charles died in 1994 and Angeline passed away in 2012.

Today, the Sculpture Garden & Museum features 51 of Umlauf’s works displayed amidst lush ferns, xeric gardens, and lawns. Shaded by mature live oak, gravel paths meander through the garden, providing access to the sculptures, the museum visitor center, and an open-air pavilion. A waterfall cascades from an upper to a lower pond, each of which features an Umlauf sculpture on miniature islands.