Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848 – 1907) Irish American sculptor

Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Augustus Saint-Gaudens

Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848 – 1907) was a sculptor who was born in Dublin, Ireland.


He attended the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York and the National Academy of Design. He began his studies at the Γ‰cole des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1867.


His family relocated to the United States. He was one of the first Americans to go to Paris instead of Rome or Florence to study. He moved to Rome in 1870, where he was significantly inspired by early Renaissance sculpture. He returned to New York in 1875 and founded his studio. He carved cameos and copied antique busts as an apprentice. The medallions on the 1875 William Cullen Bryant Vase, modelled by Tiffany’s James Horton Whitehouse, were among his decorative work on silver display items.

  • Richard Watson Gilder, Helena de Kay Gilder, and Rodman de Kay Gilder modeled 1879, cast ca. 1883–84 Augustus Saint-Gaudens
  • Diana 1893–94, cast 1894 or after Augustus Saint-Gaudens
  • Vanderbilt Mantelpiece ca. 1881–83 Augustus Saint-Gaudens
  • Hiawatha 1871–72, carved 1874

In 1877, he entered the Tile Club. In 1878, he formed the Society of American Artists with John La Farge, Olin Levy Warner, Helena de Kay, Will H. Low, and others, presumably in reaction to the National Academy of Design’s rejection of one of his sculptures for an annual exhibition. Saint-Gaudens’ work in partnership with La Farge was representative of the Aesthetic movement and highly regarded, including the interior decoration of St. Thomas Church and the 1880 Cornelius Vanderbilt residence in New York, both designed by George B. Post. La Farge, as well as architects Stanford White and Charles Follen McKim, inspired Saint- Gaudens. He began his distinguished career as a sculptor by designing the Farragut Memorial in Madison Square Park in New York in 1881. The 1884–87 standing and 1897–1906 sitting versions of Abraham Lincoln in Chicago, the 1890–91 John Adams Memorial in Washington, the 1897 Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw in Boston, and the 1903 statue of General Sherman on the Plaza on the Park in New York were among the other monumental statues.


Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The Design Encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

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