Charles Umlauf

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Charles Umlauf
Umlauf icarus.jpg
Icarus (Bronze 1965) by Charles Umlauf
Born July 17, 1910 (1910-07-17)
South Haven, Michigan
Died November 19, 1994 (1994-11-20)
Nationality  United States
Education Art Institute of Chicago
Known for Sculpture
Patron(s) WPA

Charles Umlauf (July 17, 1911 – November 19, 1994) was an American sculptor and teacher who was born in South Haven, Michigan.

In 1929 he began three years of study with Albin Polasek at the Art Institute of Chicago. He subsequently spent one year as an assistant to Lorado Taft at his Midway Studio before returning to the AIC where he remained until 1937. Those years saw a growth in Umlauf's interest in the more abstract sculptures being produced in Europe, and as a consequence, his own pieces became increasingly abstracted.

The Great Depression years found Umlauf employed by the WPA Federal Art Project, creating art for a Chicago school as well as several Federal projects.

In 1941 Umlauf accepted a position at the University of Texas school of art in Austin, Texas and taught there for 40 years. Artists teaching at UT with Umlauf included Kelly Fearing, Seymour Fogel, William Lester, Everett Spruce, and Loren Mozley, and Donald Weismann. In 1981, Umlauf retired as a professor emeritus. In 1985 he donated his home, studio and many works of art to the city of Austin, and the location was subsequently turned into the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum.

Lazarus 1950, bronze
Reclining Nude 1958, bronze
Mother & Child 1950, cast stone

Selected works[edit]

  • Spirit of Communication, Post Office, Morton Illinois, 1939
  • Protection, and Mosaic Pool, Cook County Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, 1940
  • Paulding Industries, Post Office, Paulding, Illinois, 1940
  • Boy With Sea Forms, Lane Technical High School, Chicago Illinois, 1941
  • The Torchbearers, Austin, Texas, 1962


  • Danes, Gibson A., The Sculpture and Drawings of Charles Umlauf, The University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas 1990
  • Falk, Peter Hastings, Editor Who Was Who in American Art, Sound View Press, Madison Connecticut, 1985
  • Hendricks, Patricia D. and Becky Duval Reese, A Century of Sculpture in Texas: 1889 - 1989, Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery, University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas 1989
  • Little, Carol Morris, A Comprehensive Guide to Outdoor Sculpture in Texas, University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas 1996
  • Mavigliano, George J. and Richard A. Lawson, The Federal Art Project in Illinois: 1935 - 1943., Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale, Illinois 1990
  • Opitz, Glenn B, Editor, Mantle Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers, Apollo Book, Poughkeepsie NY, 1986

External links[edit]