War Mother

While visiting the McNay Art Museum (San Antonio, TX) I discovered this sculpture set in an alcove being lit by the morning sun. The lines are created by a portico above. I was struck by how the shadows and light effected the piece. For me, there is an even more poigant feel to the sculpture created by the harsh sunlight and shadows. After returning home I researched the artist, Charles Umlauf. The figure is Umlauf’s response to the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939.
More information about Charles Umlauf and view of the sculpture set in a garden can be seen at: https://www.umlaufsculpture.org/1939-1949?lightbox=dataItem-it48rfyn1

I did crop a bit off the top and right. Also brought up some of the darker shadows and dodge some of the harsher whites.

The title says it all for me, but the black/white conversion makes it more dramatic, at least for me. I am interested in how this black & white version of the sculpture feels to you? Any thoughts would great.

Nikon Z6ii, f/11, 1/60sec., iso 32 @55mm, handheld.


Great light focused on the statue and the lines are just icing on the cake.

WOW!! Those lines are SO beyond perfect for the sculpture! This is an amazing and wonderful capture that goes way beyond documentation. Your choice of the space to include at the top and left puts the sculpture in a very special context.

You should show this to the art director!

Thanks. @David_Bostock and @Diane_Miller. I feel as though I was just lucky to be there at the precise moment the sun came through at a perfect angle. It was so powerful to see in person. Appreciate your thoughts.

Everything screams for B&W. I’m really glad you chose to go that route. I especially like the angled light on the wall to the left of the statue. It works to my eyes like a spotlight on the statue.

On another note, I will have to go visit the Umlauf Garden here in Austin. I’ve lived in this town for years and have never been to that garden. I’ll find time now thanks to your beautiful photo.

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Thank you, @Egídio_Leitão. Also, thanks for the reminder about the Umlauf Garden. I remembered I have been there several years ago. It is a small peaceful garden and certainly worth a visit. Enjoy!

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More than the technical aspects (which are fantastic), this image grabs me to the very core. Such an impactful image! Incredibly well done!

I like Diane’s idea of sharing this with the art director of the museum.


Thank you, @J_Fritz_Rumpf. I appreciate your kind words.

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