Rockport Center for the Arts | "Following Hurricane Damage, Sculpture Uccelli (Birds of St. Francis) Comes To Austin On Long-Term Loan"

Following devastating damage from Hurricane Harvey, the Rockport Center for the Arts has given Charles Umlauf’s 1972 bronze sculpture Uccelli (Birds of St. Francis) to the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden & Museum on long-term loan. Uccelli will remain in the Garden while the Rockport Center rebuilds after damage from Hurricane Harvey.

On March 6, 2018 join us for a special UMLAUF After Dark from 6-8pm during which the Executive Director of the Rockport Center for the Arts, Luis Purón, will give a presentation reliving the story of how he discovered Uccelli buried beneath hurricane wreckage resulting from winds in excess of 150 miles per hour. Purón states in conversation with UMLAUF Curator, Katie Robinson Edwards, “On August 25 of last year, Hurricane Harvey sat over Rockport for fourteen hours. Adding to the complexity of the storm event, the National Weather Service reported 60 tornadoes in the area that night.” He adds, “By August 27, I already knew that our building was catastrophically damaged, that it had lost half of its roof, and that some of our sculptures were damaged, fallen, or lost.” The recovery of Uccelli required six marines and three separate occasions to secure it in an effort that took over a month. One of Umlauf's birds was separated from the bronze piece, and another was compromised, both have since been conserved; the base, sculpted by Jesús Moroles, was dirty but remarkably undamaged. Moroles visited Charles Umlauf in Pietrasanta, Italy, in the 1960s and, while studying his craft, pulled stone from the same quarry as the great Italian Renaissance sculptor, Michelangelo.

The UMLAUF is honored to house Uccelli until the artwork returns home once the Rockport Center for the Arts builds a new facility.

About Uccelli (Birds of St. Francis):

Cast in Pietrasanta, Italy, this work is based on the birds in Umlauf’s 1972 bronze sculpture, St. Francis with Birds. Umlauf made only a few castings of the birds by themselves without the full-size figure of St. Francis. Umlauf occasionally made the individual sculptures based on more complex compositions. The sculpture sits on a granite base sculpted by internationally acclaimed sculptor Jesús Moroles. Uccelli was donated by Cam Leonard, a founding member of Rockport Center for the Arts’ Sculpture Garden and former President of the organization. Cam and Virginia Leonard's past contributions have made a substantial impact on Rockport Center for the Arts. Umlauf's Uccelli is dedicated to the memory of Virginia Leonard. The dedication for Umlauf's Uccelli took place on November 1, 2008, with Jesús Moroles in attendance and assisting with the unveiling of the now famed sculpture.

About the UMLAUF:
The UMLAUF Sculpture Garden & Museum exhibits the work of Charles Umlauf, his influences, and other contemporary sculptors in a natural setting, and provides educational experiences that encourage the understanding and appreciation of sculpture.

Address: 605 Robert E. Lee Road, Austin, Texas, 78704
Phone: 512-445-5582
Museum Hours: Tuesday – Friday 10am-4pm, Saturday – Sunday 12pm-4pm. Closed Monday.

Twitter: @UmlaufSculpture
Instagram @UmlaufSculpture

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