Saint-Gaudens Biography

1883 - 1897 Shaw Memorial

Saint-Gaudens' creation of the Shaw Memorial, which he was formally contracted to design in 1884, was a breathtaking invocation of individuality and personification.The bronze relief of the first African-American regiment organized in the North during the Civil War -- eleven by fourteen feet in size -- combines relief sculpture with a nearly free-standing equestrian figure. It took approximately fourteen years to complete, emerging from a first conception as a single equestrian statue of Colonel Shaw to a large-scale relief after Shaw's mother rejected the equestrian as too grandiose.

Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Shaw Memorial, 1897, bronze relief, Boston, photograph by Jeffrey Nintzel

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Saint-Gaudens BiographyWorking Method
IntroductionThe ArtistHistorical BackgroundThe Memorial and Its ConservationThe ExhibitionTeaching Resources

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