Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848 - 1907) was born in Dublin Ireland but was brought to New York by his emigrant parents as an infant. At the age of thirteen he was made an apprentice to a cameo cutter and spent his evenings studying at the Cooper Union and the National Academy of Design. He went to Paris in 1867 at nineteen and studied at The Ecole des Beaux-Arts and worked at the studio of Jouffroy in the evenings. During his years in Paris, Saint-Gaudens established a small studio and encouraged other American sculptors to work with and assist him. He was so well thought of in the Paris art world that he was made a judge at the Paris Salon. At the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870 Saint-Gaudens, like most of the American artists in Paris, traveled to Rome where he stayed for five years working in a studio that he established. During his time in Paris and Rome he received several commissions from wealthy American travelers who would seek him out. By the time he returned to New York in 1875 Saint-Gaudens was a well established sculptor with a large clientele and sought after by many architects and designers for his assistance. He was given the commission for the monument to Admiral Farragut for Madison Square in New York in 1881 and from that time on his reputation as one of Americas finest sculptors was well established. As well as maintaining his studio in New York City, Saint-Gaudens kept a home and studio in Cornish New Hampshire where he worked and taught the most promising students who sought him out. Besides the Farragut monument Saint-Gaudens executed the Shaw Memorial in Boston and General Sherman in Central Park. Because of the painstaking detail and methods that Saint-Gaudens insisted on in his sculpture his works were produced in very limited editions and are actively sought after and highly prized when they come on the market.
The life of Augustus Saint-Gaudens is documented in the following books:
American Sculpture by the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1965)
Dictionary of American Sculptors by Glenn Opitz
Masters of American Sculpture by Donald M. Reynolds
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