Augustus Saint-Guadens

Every once in a while an exceptional artist comes along, and one who burst on the scene in the late 1800’s was Augustus Saint-Guadens. We crossed the covered bridge from Windsor VT to Cornish NH to visit the Augustus Saint-Guadens National Historic Site.

Covered Bridge

Known for his tributes to Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War soldiers who fought to save the Union, he was instrumental in shaping the ideals of the American Renaissance.

Standing Lincoln

His attention to detail and his ability to capture the subject’s personality in intimate detail gave him early and resounding success as a sculptor. This bust of General Sherman demonstrates his mastery of the art form.

Sherman closeup

He was just as adept at creating classical images, and often integrated them into historical memorials, as seen below in the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial. This most famous bronze bas relief (also on Boston Common) took 14 years to complete.

Shaw leading the assault on Ft. Wagner

His iconic “Diana” was first designed as a weathervane for Madison Square Park in NYC. She now resides in various venues, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina. This casting is in what is known as his “Little Studio.”

Diana

His “Little Studio” is in itself a work of art.

Studio Exterior

View from the studio

We carefully planned our trip to be in Vermont during peak leaf season, when the Green Mountains are ablaze with color. It’s been unseasonably warm, and without a frost to date, the Green Mountains are, well, green.

Green Mountains (1)

 

3 thoughts on “Augustus Saint-Guadens

  1. Hi Janie & Russ,
    Our alma mater, U Mass is nearby and we’ve visited St Gaudens studios. There’s a beautiful poem by Robert Lowell about the dedication and ironic history of the Maj Shaw memorial. Will send it to you.

    Liked by 1 person

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