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
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.
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.’
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.
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.