Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Art Framed by Nature

War Mother - 1939
While we were in Austin, Texas over the holiday we took the children to the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum.  It houses the largest collection of bronze sculpture in Texas, and is designed for enjoyment and accessibility.  There are "touch tours" for the visually impaired, captioned films for the hearing impaired and wheel-chair accessible pathways so anyone who wants access to the works is able to enjoy the experience to the fullest.

Another great fact - the sculptor and his wife built a home and studio here, when they conceived this vision.  They overlook the existing park and museum..

"Touch" is a very key word....and perfectly designed for high-energy children.  "Bronze" also sounded good, as it sounds very strong and secure.  The kids could run around and burn off energy, as well as enjoy the art form.  Perfect.

Beast of Burden - 1953
Spirit of Flight - 1959

And run and touch is what they did.  The Garden area was beautifully landscaped, with winding paths and sculptures well placed within the natural setting.  Both the children found favorites...my 3 1/2 year old granddaughter is enamored with horses and donkeys, and when she saw the donkey sculpture we had a really hard time getting her to move on.  My grandson, who is 7, didn't seem to have a specific favorite, but thoroughly enjoyed feeling the textures of stone and bronze.

Madonna and Child - 1967
Bambino Su Cuscino - Bronze - 1976
Poetess -Cast Stone - 1956 
The museum was also very interesting, and the sculptures had a different flavor.  Still touchable, they were more fragile so we had to be more watchful.  But there was an approachability to each piece of work which drew us in.  The photographer in me also had to have some fun with angle and light...and framing.

What a great day, with both children and adults actively engaged in learning about sculpture, and enjoying the day in nature  The city of Austin has done a wonderful job of creating green space and cultural accessibility for all.  We need to celebrate these efforts and encourage their development everywhere.

We're ready to go back any day- particularly as we are blanketed in the cold and snow of mid-Michigan!


Jeanie said...

This looks like a great place! And the kids are adorable. Sure could use a little Texas weather now!

Kamana said...

what lovely children

Sandy K. said...

Thank you, Jeanie and Kamana. It was such a wonderful time with the kids, and the weather was lovely. Then to come back to this. I will adjust my attitude, I am sure:).