Saint-Gaudens:Revisiting

Revisiting published locations during Covid 19: Saint-Gaudens

Mick Hales is revisiting photographs of Saint-Gaudens for his print gallery. Mick photographed the Summer home of Augustus Saint-Gaudens for a story published by House and Garden magazine Dec 1985. Saint-Gaudens was an American Sculptor, active at the end of the nineteenth century and part of the Cornish Art Colony. He developed relationships with the architects Stanford White and Charles McKim and also the painter/ decorator John La Farge. They collaborated on many projects together.

Gardens and studios

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Lower Garden Terrace with bench with pair of Zodiac heads. MickHalesGaudens2

Mick Hales is now adding to his new print site. Many of these classic published photos are available for people to hang in homes and offices.

Collecting Images for Print Site

Mick Hales enjoys revisiting his Saint- Gaudens images because the Covid 19 virus makes travel very difficult. Spending time digitizing images has its benefits. Photography has changed in so many ways since large format film but it still involves timing and a talented eye. Shooting in the misty mornings and through the late afternoons into dusk, is still the way to go.

History

Saint-Gaudens’ parents moved from Ireland to New York, his mother being Irish and his father French. His father started a footwear business in New York. As a young teenager Augustus starting learning from a French stone cameo cutter Louis Avet. Later, the French influence in his life drew him between living in Paris and New York. He was also influenced by the French artist in Paris Henri Chapu and Italian Donatello. In 1868 he entered the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, until the Franco Prussian war when he moved to Rome. There he began to sculpt in earnest and completed his early work of ‘Hiawatha.’

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Amor Caritas, Angel of Charity, by Augustus Saint-Gaudens MickHalesGaudens3
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Pergola infant of the studio has grape vines growing above it. MickHalesGaudens5

The Neoclassical style of the mid 19th century started to change towards the more naturalistic Beaux-Art and Saint-Gaudens followed. Some of his notable commissions were Abraham Lincoln, The Puritan, Amor Caritas, Robert Louis Stevenson and the Sherman Monument. President Theodore Roosevelt commissioned him to redesign the 10 and 20 dollar gold pieces in 1905. Saint-Gaudens work is recognized internationally, on the very small coins or up to his larger monuments.

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Plaster Caste from the Parthenon depicts mounted horses. MickHales.Gaudens
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Pan figure stands over a fountain beneath birch grove.
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One of the striking features of Cornish is the ever present form of Mount Ascutney. It’s eye catching shape is an important terminating feature in views and landscape design of Cornish houses. The life style of outside activities; dances, poetry readings and social gatherings always have Mount Ascutney in view. The light hearted ‘play time’ feeling at the colony is still alive. Mick’s photographs successfully show the spirit of the place where an ‘Arts Renaissance’ was underway; introducing a naturalist freedom within Classical boundaries.

The Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park, the sculptor’s gardens and studios in Cornish, are open to the public seasonally. There are Covid 19 restrictions to be aware of.

Photographing two Hamptons houses published in HC & G Architecture Issue

Photographing two fabulous modern houses, published in the Architecture issue of Hamptons Cottages and Gardens, was helped by years of experience of the photographer and editor.  One designed by Audrey Matlock and the other by Roger Ferris, both houses are very site specific and original in design.

I have worked as photographer with Audrey Matlock a number of years ago and was very excited when I was commissioned to photograph this house by Kendell Cronstrom, of Cottages and Gardens magazine. Audrey Matlock has an extremely clean sense of design and the building lines interact with each other forming intricate layers of space and form.  Even small movements around the house would create very different visual images.

Photographing modern houses can be very fulfilling because a lot of what a photographer is doing, is highlighting the building’s form and the ideas the architect has created, utilizing natural light. The initial walk through with editor Kendell Cronstrom, decided what aspects of a house are worth capturing and what styling they may require. Then the decisions as to where to start and what to photograph when throughout the day are crucial to a shoots results. Having a good idea as to what the weather is going to do through the day determines what the light will be like in the different rooms and on the exterior of the building. Often a grey day can be as useful as a very bright day, sometimes it works well to have both, which is what happened when we photographed Audrey Matlock’s design.

 

The Roger Ferris house was designed for a young family which wanted to keep the sense of living in a meadow. The barn like vernacular was created by there being three building blocks arranged conversationally together and slightly separated with horizontal wood cladding which extend into the roof surface. When seated in the living room a panoramic view of the meadow was achieved by three walls of windows. The simplicity of the buildings and their grouping made a strong reference to agricultural life even though they are set close to a very busy Hamptons town.

Only partial story lay out is shown here for both houses.

Son designs addition to his father’s Classic Hampton’s House

Miles Jaffe adds to a Norman Jaffe house

Published in Hamptons Cottages and Gardens

Miles Jaffe remembered as a child the house his father designed as a two bedroom vacation house for the family. Now Miles, faced the challenge of redesigning it into a four bedroom family home, nearly forty years later. ‘In the end I created an addition which was simply a reflection of the existing building’  Miles writes.
To photograph the result was a real pleasure as the two designs fit together like a glove, like father and son.

Photograph your projects in their prime.
Mick Hales.
Copyright © Mick Hales 2017 All rights reserved.