The mission of the Saint-Gaudens Memorial is to celebrate the great American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848–1907), whose work continues to enrich our culture and inform our understanding of this period of American history. The trustees seek to increase public awareness of his life, his world and his work; to partner with the National Park Service to preserve, protect, and interpret the cultural resources at the Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park in Cornish, New Hampshire; to advocate for public works by Saint-Gaudens wherever they may be; and to promote the arts in general.
To this end the Memorial sponsors educational and artistic programs at the park and elsewhere; it provides advice and architectural, technical, and curatorial expertise to help guide development that will enhance visitors’ experiences while maintaining the park’s special character and its designation as a living memorial to Saint-Gaudens; and it supports the park with managerial, financial and other resources to facilitate special projects.
CURRENT AND ONGOING INITIATIVES
Major ongoing activities of the Memorial include:
- Selective acquisition of works by Saint-Gaudens and related Cornish Colony artists
- Exhibitions of the work of contemporary artists as well as historic exhibitions focusing on Saint-Gaudens and the Cornish Colony
- Summer concerts featuring distinguished musical artists
- Annual Fellowships for emerging artists
- Contributions toward local endeavors that contribute to the preservation and quality of Cornish and surrounding communities
- Cooperative fundraising and oversight, with the NPS, of production of the film, “Augustus Saint-Gaudens: Master of American Sculpture”
- Funding of the publication The Work of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, John H. Dryfhout’s authoritative book on the sculptor’s work (1982)
- Production of Augustus Saint-Gaudens: A Master of American Sculpture, a 215-page color catalogue that accompanied the 1999 traveling exhibition of Saint-Gaudens’s work
- Production of several films and videos including “Masque of the Golden Bowl” (a portrait of the sculptor’s life shown on PBS’ “American Masters” series), “Wax Blood/Bronze Skin” (a documentary on the art of bronze casting), and “Conservation of the Collections: Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site Preserves and Protects”
- Design and construction of protective housing for monumental works at the park
- Creation of a bronze cast of Saint-Gaudens’ heroic statue of Admiral David Glasgow Farragut for placement on the original bluestone base at the park
- With the National Park Service, development of a 20-year management plan for the future protection of the park’s art collection and preservation of the park’s special character and scale.
- Preservation and casting of the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial, the masterful work that commemorates Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the men of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment–the first black regiment raised in the north to fight for the Union cause. The monumental plaster, formerly at the park, was preserved and relocated to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC on long-term loan. A mold taken from the plaster allowed for creation of a bronze cast, which is displayed at the Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park.