Saint-Gaudens hired African Americans to pose for him. They were not professional
models, but men the sculptor saw on the street and whom he felt had the appearances
he was seeking. Saint-Gaudens made forty heads as studies, sixteen of which were
incorporated into the final composition. His work on the individual physiogomies of the
black soldiers took several years.
Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Head of a Soldier (all), 1883/1893, plaster, U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, Cornish, New Hampshire, photographs by Neil Abelsma