The way our program is built allows children to be able to associate what we see everyday. Whenever we visit the Texas State Capitol or the Texas State Cemetery we always stress those magnificent statues carved in memory of important Texas figures. They can easily remember Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston at the entrance of the Capitol. The sculpture of the man that is laying down at the cemetery is Albert Sidney Johnston, but that one is harder to remember. Those are just a few of the many commissions Elizabet Ney had after she arrived to Austin.
Her work began in Germany, where she was born. She sculpted for names such as Arthur Schopenhauer, a philosopher, Otto Von Bismark, a very prominent politician, and even one of the Grimm Brothers. Once in the United States, the commissions, which are orders for specific sculptures, kept coming. Most of them can be found in the Elizabet Ney Museum, located in Central Austin. Others can be found at the U.S. Capitol and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
She kept fighting for the arts until her death. Her studio was bequeathed to UT (now belonging to the City of Austin) and her friends established the Texas Finer Arts Association (now Contemporary Austin) in her honor. Her legacy remains in the many sculptures.
We are glad that they get exposed to all forms of art in our city! Kids enjoy looking at the statues and busts in the gallery. 3D Art, such as sculpting, brings to their minds all the work it must have taken her to depict such replicas of the human face and body. Sculpting is not something that kids regularly think of as being handmade, which is why it’s even more impressive to them.