One of those “off the beaten path” Austin attractions, even though it technically isn’t, the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum is a perfect spot for a slow stroll in a relaxed outdoor setting.
Nestled between Zilker Park to the east (the garden is right across the narrow street from the little-used baseball/softball fields on Robert E Lee RD) and a lush, overgrown hillside on the west, the garden instills visitors with a sense of seclusion in spite of its proximity to downtown Austin.
Featuring a winding, circular footpath, numerous benches, two picturesque footbridges, lots of vegetation, Texas wildflowers, mature trees, an extensive water feature incorporating a couple of ponds and a cascading creek, and all, of course, punctuated by a large variety of nature and religious-themed bronze sculpture, the Umlauf Sculpture Gardens are both peaceful and beautiful.
The sculpture garden commemorates and features the work of the late sculptor, Charles Umlauf. Born in Michigan in 1911, Umlauf grew up in Chicago and moved to Austin in 1941 where he subsequently taught in the Art Department at the University of Texas for 40 years. The property and more than 120 sculptures and other works of art were a gift by Umlauf and his wife in 1985.
His other sculptures are on display at the Smithsonian, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and the McNay Museum in San Antonio. Charles Umlauf died in 1994.
The garden and museum also offer numerous community educational opportunities throughout the year, including Sculpture Tales, a storytime and brief workshop for ages 3-5; Sculptor to Be workshops for ages 6-11; summer camps; and Sculptor in Me workshops for everyone 12 and up.
In addition, the Umlauf gardens offer various talks and lectures on-site, and there’s also a fun annual fundraiser called the Umlauf Garden Party held each spring (see the Austin Events April page).
Map – Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum
Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum
605 Robert E. Lee RD
Austin, TX 78704
Wed-Fri 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Weekends – 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Adults – $3.50
Seniors – $2.50
Students – $1
Under 6 – Free