1880 First Public Commission
Saint-Gaudens felt ready to compete for a public statuary commission upon returning to New York. Through an American patron in Rome, he learned of a planned monument to the Civil War naval hero, Admiral David Glasgow Farragut. By dint of making repeated contacts he got the job. Saint-Gaudens wrote to the U.S. War Department for photographs of Farragut and was able to get the admiral's sword into the Paris studio where he designed the memorial. His painstaking research produced a monument praised in Paris and New York and secured him further commissions. The base of this statue was designed by his friend Stanford White.
Augustus Saint-Gaudens, The Farragut Monument, 1879-1880, bronze, New York City, Madison Square Park, photograph by Jerry L. Thompson