Guide to the Papers of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, 1848 - 1985Manuscript ML-4

Biography

Augustus Saint-Gaudens was born on March 1, 1848 in Dublin, Ireland. His family moved to the United States that same year and settled in New York City. In 1867, Augustus enrolled in the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and traveled throughout Europe for further training and artistic study. After his return to the United States, he received his first major commission in 1876, when he was asked to design a statue for Admiral David Farragut. Other commissions followed including the Standing Lincoln Monument in Chicago (1887), the Adams Memorial in Washington, DC (1891), the Peter Cooper Monument in New York City and the John A. Logan Monument. However, his greatest achievement was the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial on Boston Common on which he worked for fourteen years and which was completed in 1897. For the Lincoln Centennial in 1909, Saint-Gaudens designed a statue of a seated Abraham Lincoln, the head of which was used for the commemorative postage stamp issued on the 100th anniversary of Lincoln's birth. Saint-Gaudens married Augusta Homer in 1877, and their son Homer was born in 1880. He moved permanently to his house known as "Aspet" in Cornish, New Hampshire in 1900, where he became part of the thriving "Cornish Colony." Even though he had been diagnosed with cancer, he continued to work, producing a steady stream of relief and public sculptures until his death on August 3, 1907.

Homer Saint-Gaudens attended Harvard from 1899-1903, and became a writer, art critic, theatrical manager and director of the art museum of the Carnegie Institute. He served in World War I and was awarded the Bronze Star. He married Carlota Dolley in 1905. In 1913, Homer edited and amplified his father's autobiography "Reminiscences of Augustus Saint-Gaudens." He published his own work "The American Artist and His Time" in 1941, and was a frequent contributor to a number of periodicals. He was also the founder of the Saint-Gaudens Memorial in Cornish and its director until 1953. Homer Saint-Gaudens died in 1958.

Paul Saint-Gaudens was born in Flint, Ohio in 1900. He was the only child of Augustus Saint-Gaudens' brother Louis Saint-Gaudens and his wife Annetta Johnson Saint-Gaudens. After training in Boston and Trenton, Paul opened his studio known as Orchard Kiln Pottery, in 1921. His interests into the early history of pottery led him to dig deeply into the history of glazes. Paul Saint-Gaudens died in Boston in 1954.

Annetta Johnson Saint-Gaudens was born in 1869, in Flint, Ohio. She attended the Columbus Art School from 1885-1888. In 1890, she moved to New York and was affiliated with the Art Students' League. It was during her stay in New York that she studied with and assisted Augustus Saint-Gaudens. She married his brother Louis in 1898. Even though Annetta was a noted sculptor herself, her work was overshadowed by the her husband and brother-in-law. After Louis' death in 1913 she resumed her career as a sculptor. Annetta Saint-Gaudens died on April 6, 1943 in California.

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