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Friday, October 3rd, 2008
Sculpture Garden to Dedicate Umlauf Sculpture, Donated by Cam Leonard
On Saturday November 1, the Rockport Center for the Arts and its Board of Directors will proudly dedicate “Uccelli,” another permanent sculpture to its Sculpture GardenItalian for Birds of St. Francis, “Uccelli”was created by prolific and internationally known sculptor CharlesUmlauf whose works range from realistic and abstract expressionism tolyrical abstraction.  The 1972 bronze sculpture is a detail of Umlauf’s larger “St. Francis with Birds.”  During his lifetime, Umlauf created bronze castings in Italy and often gave his pieces Italian names, like these three birds.

 The Umlauf sculpture was donated by Cam Leonard of Houston in loving memory of his wife, Virginia.  As a long-standing local art supporter, Leonard was one of the founding fathers of the Center's Sculpture Garden and a past president of the Rockport Art Association.  Throughthe Leonard’s vision in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, the plans fora sculpture garden went from idea to reality.  Leonard continues tocontribute to that vision through his current donation.

 The Cam Leonard Family plans to attend the unveiling ceremony on November 1, 2008 at the Rockport Center for the Arts’ Sculpture GardenThe base for the Umlauf sculpture was designed by internationally acclaimed sculptor Jesus Moroles. 

Past-poster artist Harold Phenix will speak at the dedication ceremony.

Texas,there are more sculptures by 20th century American sculptor CharlesUmlauf in public placements throughout the state than by any othersingle sculptor," says Nelie Plourde, curator of the Umlauf Sculpture Garden in Austin"We are delighted to add Rockport to our list of towns and cities with an Umlauf sculpture."

About Sculptor Charles Umlauf

CharlesJulius Umlauf's sculptures range from detailed realism to lyricalabstractions. His materials are equally diverse, from the exotic woodsand terra cotta or cast stone of his earlier pieces, to the richbronzes and alabasters or luminous marbles of his prime.  Withequal facility, Umlauf sculpted family groupings (particularly mothersand children), delightful animals, religious and mythological figures,and sensuous nudes.

 Umlauf was born on a farm outside South Haven, Michigan in 1911, the sixth of eight children born to French and German immigrant parents.  When he was eight, the family moved to Chicago.  Umlauf'sfourth grade teacher soon recognized his artistic talents and took himto the Art Institute of Chicago where he was given summer scholarships.After high school Umlauf studied at both the Art Institute and theChicago School of Sculpture.

In 1941, Umlauf moved to Austin, where he agreed to join the new art department at the University of Texas as a sculpture instructor.  He taught there for 40 years, retiring as professor emeritus in 1981.

Duringhis career, Umlauf was awarded nearly every professional award,including both a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Ford Foundation Grant.  In Texas, he was honored in 1985 by the Houston Art League as "Texas Artist of the Year" and in 1993 by the City of San Antonio as "Alcalde."

 Umlauf's work can be seen in public collections and museums across the United States, including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and Houston Museum of Fine Arts. 

While teaching at the University of Texas his students included Rockport's own Nanci Barnes and Angalee DeForest, among others.
Umlauf passed away in 1994.