Austin, Texas has risen through the ranks of American cities known for creative expression and contemporary ideals. Creatives and art lovers come from all over the country to live and work in Austin, so, unsurprisingly, there are plenty of fantastic opportunities for tourists to explore the booming arts and entertainment scene, too.
One of the most well-known sculptors in contemporary art history, Charles Umlauf, called Austin his home for more than forty years, and in 1985, donated his private land and collection of 168 sculptures and other works to the city.
In 1991, the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden & Museum was founded for the public to be able to explore his vast array of work, and to promote awareness for the arts and educational programs in Austin.
For more than 30 years, the UMLAUF has given visitors the opportunity to learn about Umlauf’s life and work, but for the first time, the museum has opened a special exhibit dedicated to his most famous prodigy—actress Farrah Fawcett.
Before becoming a Hollywood star, Fawcett attended the University of Texas at Austin where she decided to pursue an art degree. It was here that she met prolific sculptor and professor, Charles Umlauf. Umlauf took a special responsibility for Fawcett and her education, and the two formed a mentorship and friendship in the years that followed.
Fawcett worked hard to remain in constant correspondence with her mentor, and according to Katie Robinson-Edwards, curator for the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden & Museum, acquired a large collection of his work, as well.
“Not only did Farrah and Umlauf share a mentorship and friendship, but he really was her favorite artist, too,” said Robinson-Edwards. “Large portions of her collection were sculptures created by Umlauf.”
Upon her death, Fawcett bequeathed her personal collection of art to the University of Texas at Austin, and now, for the first time, the collection in its entirety is on display in a special exhibition titled, Mentoring a Muse: Charles Umlauf & Farrah Fawcett at the UMLAUF museum.
“Visitors to the exhibit can expect to see busts and full-sized sculptures by Umlauf, as well as hand drawn portraits of Farrah,” said Robison-Edwards. “They can also see letters of correspondence between Fawcett and Umlauf, written on pale pink and pale blue paper.”
This is the first exhibition to not only highlight the relationship between Fawcett and Umlauf, but to showcase the seventies starlet as a true artist. Robinson-Edwards points out that some visitors assume the majority of the work in the exhibit is by Umlauf, but come to find how impressive Fawcett’s talent really was.
The exhibit is open until August 20, 2017, with $5 admission for adults, $3 for seniors, and $1 for students (children under 12 are admitted to the museum for free).
For more info, visit umlaufsculpture.org.