The Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum has named Sarah Story as the organization’s new executive director.
Story is currently the deputy director of New Orleans’ Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Story replaces Nina Seely who left the post in November. Pamela Owens has been serving as interim executive director.
Story studied painting at the University of Mississippi before obtaining a master’s in arts administration from the University of New Orleans. Among the projects she was involved in at the Ogden included increasing the museum’s budget and number of staff members, and increasing visitors to the museum from 35,000 annual attendees to more than 85,000.
The Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum focuses on preserving the work of artist Charles Umlauf, a sculptor and a longtime professor at the University of Texas. The museum also awards the annual Umlauf Prize to a UT graduate art student in sculpting. The prize includes a semester-long exhibit at the museum.
In 1985 Umlauf and his wife, Angeline, donated their home perched on a cliff above Barton Springs, along with 168 pieces of sculpture, to the city of Austin designating that the property be used as a museum after their deaths. Anxious to get a museum going, supporters negotiated a land swap that had the State of Texas trade six acres below the Umlauf’s hilltop property with the city of Austin. That land became the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum in 1991. (The museum is a private 501(c)(3); the city maintains ownership of the land.)
Umlauf died in 1994 at age 83; Angeline passed in 2012.
Currently, the museum is planning an initiative that will incorporate Umlauf’s midcentury home and studio into the existing organization, opening the spaces up to visitors.