Umlauf Comes to ABIA

Never-before-seen art from Austin icon surfaces for a limited time

Never-before-seen art from Austin icon surfaces for a limited time

Charles Umlauf sculpture Dora
Austin artist Charles Umlauf's never-before-seen sculpture Dora will be on display in an exclusive exhibit at ABIA this month. Photo by Randy Kerr

The Austin airport has always excelled in capturing the essence of the city through features like live music and restaurants like Maudie’s, ThunderCloud, and Salt Lick. To further its mission of spotlighting local businesses and artists, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) has partnered with Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum to give travelers an exciting new experience.

Starting Wednesday, February 17, the exhibit “From the Vault” will go on display at ABIA showcasing classic and never-before-seen works from Austin sculptor Charles Umlauf, along with sketches and photography to celebrate the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum’s 25th anniversary.

One of the highlights of the exhibit is Umlauf’s never-before-seen sculpture Dora, a woman’s head in painted terra cotta dating to 1948. This, along with drawings from Umlauf and photographs from internationally known Randy Kerr, will be on display within 10 pylons that are 12 feet tall and span the length of the airport. Other works include Head of Angeline, a 1950 stoneware sculpture of the artist’s wife; Rhino, a 1965 bronze sculpture; and Head of Farrah, a 1973 bronze sculpture of the one and only Farrah Fawcett.

With a reported 12 million visitors passing through ABIA in 2015, “From the Vault” has the opportunity to have maximum exposure to locals and visitors alike. “It’s such an honor for the museum to be at ABIA,” said Nina Seely, executive director of the Umlauf museum, in a release. “With spring break and SXSW coming up, we’re looking forward to introducing Umlauf to millions of passersby.”

Matt Coldwell, culture and arts education coordinator for the City of Austin’s department of aviation, explained that the exhibit allows ABIA “to continue our goal to inform and please air travelers about the depth and breadth of excellent cultural resources that reside within the Austin area.”

The exhibition will run February 17 through May 17, so make sure to scope it out the next time you catch a flight.