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Taking a Sculpture Class at Saint-Gaudens Site
Augustus Saint-Gaudens was a pre-eminent late 19th century American sculptor best known for memorials, statues, coins, and portrait reliefs. I recently attended a sculpture workshop at the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, N.H.
Saint-Gaudens lived and worked in Cornish, N.H. and completed over 150 works of art which included public monuments such as the "Sherman Monument" in New York as well as the "Shaw Memorial" in Boston.
The gilded "General William T. Sherman Monument" is at the entrance to Central Park. Gen. William T. Sherman is led by winged Victory on his march to the sea. If you are near the Plaza Hotel, on Fifth Avenue in New York, be sure to see this incredible monument to the Civil War.
The "Robert Gould Shaw Memorial" can be seen across the street from the State House in Boston, M.A. This Civil War story has been immortalized in the Hollywood movie, "Glory." This relief memorial evokes emotion as these brave men were about to lose their lives during war in their commitment to defend this country.
The "Adams Memorial" was a private commission by Henry Adams, the husband of Clover Hooper Adams and can be seen in Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
I was fortunate to have seen this monument in its location in the fall. Amazingly, there was one tree remaining with its colorful leaves and it was near the "Adams Memorial."
You can sit on the marble seats across from the memorial and contemplate the universal beauty and meaning of the sculpture. It is worth a visit when planning a trip to Washington, D.C.
"Adams Memorial" photo taken at SGNHS by Camille Gizzarelli.
The only female nude sculpture by Saint-Gaudens is the idealized beauty of "Diana of the Tower." She balances one foot on the pedestal while holding a bow and arrow which acted as a weather vane.
Diana, in mythology, is the huntress and so it seemed appropriate to put her atop of Madison Square Garden in New York, an athletic arena designed by the architect Stanford White.
Diana was robed with a cape which eventually blew away. Her size was diminished (from eighteen feet to thirteen feet tall) as the statue was thought to be too big for the site. Skyscrapers didn’t exist until 1931 when the Empire State Building was built and so the original cast of Diana was the tallest structure in Manhattan in 1891.
The second version of Diana, hailing at thirteen feet tall, can be seen atop the staircase at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
A lovely Diana, at half the size of the original, can be seen at the Saint-Gaudens site (as seen in photo).
"Diana of the Tower" photo taken at SGNHS by Camille Gizzarelli.
I thoroughly enjoyed my sculpture class which was sadly too brief. The artist in residence, Steve, conducted the class which mostly had returning students who were working on torsos. Since I was there for only a one-day class, I chose to do the relief of a young girl. I took my project home to be completed at a later time, at my leisure, while reflecting on the beauty of Cornish, NH.
You can own your own Giclee print of the "Robert Gould Shaw Memorial."
You can own a companion book to the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit of Augustus Saint-Gaudens.
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