EYE CANDY

Before Pin-Up Fame, Farrah Fawcett Was Actually an Art School Geek

Charles Umlauf Farrah Fawcett 1970 studio Courtesy UMLAUF.jpg
Courtesy UMLAUF

Almost exactly a decade before she appeared on the best-selling pin-up poster in history, the late actress and ’70s icon Farrah Fawcett got her start studying art as an undergrad at the University of Texas in Austin, where she soon encountered and became the muse to the late sculptor Charles Umlauf, a professor who in return offered mentorship (and works for her collection). Though Fawcett eventually left art school for Hollywood, after studying there from 1965 to ’68, she kept up sculpting, drawing, painting, and keeping a studio her entire life, making for a multimedia trove of rarely seen works now being showcased in an exhibition called “Mentoring a Muse” at the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden & Museum in Austin, Texas through August. Also featured among Fawcett’s various nude torsos and sketched self-portraits are letters she wrote to Umlauf, detailing both her gratitude and excitement at working with “such stars” as Mae West and John Huston; Umlauf’s own sculptures of Fawcett; and a napkin drawing of the model’s eyes by another admirer: Andy Warhol. A look back, here.

1
Courtesy UMLAUF

Charles Umlauf and Farrah Fawcett in the studio in 1970.

2
Photo by Maryhelen Murray

Nude Torso by Farrah Fawcett.

3
Collection of Greg Walls

Self Portrait by Farrah Fawcett, c. 1970.

4
Photo by Maryhelen Murray

Reclining Nude by Farrah Fawcett.

5
Courtesy Greg Walls

Charles Umlauf and Farrah Fawcett in Austin, 1971.

6
Photo by Maryhelen Murray

Nude Torso by Farrah Fawcett, 1997.

7
Photo by Maryhelen Murray

Standing Nude by Farrah Fawcett.

8
Photo by Maryhelen Murray

Nude Torso by Farrah Fawcett.

9
Courtesy UMLAUF

Charles Umlauf and Farrah Fawcett in the studio in 1970.

10
Photo by Maryhelen Murray

Diane by Farrah Fawcett.

11
Photo by Maryhelen Murray

Two Faces by Farrah Fawcett, c. 1980.