Newsletter March 2012 – The Faces of US Immigrants: Augustus Saint-Gaudens, An Irish-American Sculptor

Augustus Saint Gaudens1IN THIS ISSUE
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The Faces of US Immigrants: Augustus Saint-Gaudens, An Irish-American Sculptor

Augustus Saint-Gaudens, born on March 1, 1848 in Dublin, Ireland, was an American sculptor of the Beaux-Arts generation who most embodied the ideals of the “American Renaissance”. Raised in New York City, he traveled to Europe for further training and artistic study, and then returned to major critical success in the design of monuments commemorating heroes of the American Civil War, many of which still stand. In addition to his famous works such as the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial on Boston Common and the outstanding grand equestrian monuments to Civil War generals, such as that of William Tecumseh Sherman found in New York’s Central Park, 1892–1903. Saint-Gaudens also had an interest in coin collecting and designed the $20 “double eagle” gold piece, for the US Mint in 1905–1907, still considered the most beautiful American coin ever issued as well as the $10 “Indian Head” gold eagle, both of which were minted from 1907 until 1933. In his later years he founded the “Cornish Colony”, an artistic colony that included notable painters, sculptors, writers, and architects. Saint-Gaudens died on August 3, 1907 in Cornish, New Hampshire. He was 59 years old.

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