Bits & Pieces... by David Sundman

Where Saint-Gaudens Called Home

[photo: homestead of Augustus Saint-Gaudens

About 70 miles south of us in Cornish, New Hampshire is the Saint-Gaudens National Historic site, home of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, creator of the magnificent $10 and $20 gold pieces (1907-33). The estate contains the home, gardens and studios of the man many consider America's greatest modern sculptor. From 1885-97, this was Saint-Gaudens' summer residence, and his permanent home from 1900 until his death in 1907.

His beautiful estate, called Aspet after his father's birthplace in France, demonstrates his love of natural beauty. Over the years, the grounds have been transformed with formal gardens, manicured hedges, carefully pruned trees, fountains, a nine-hole golf course and a pool. And, when you look at the brick house and buildings, his interest in classical Greek and Roman art and architecture is immediately apparent. The main house, built about 1800 as an inn, holds original furnishings and decorative objects from Saint-Gaudens' travels. The nearby Little Studio has Doric columns on the outside, while inside are many of his works of art, including a copy of Diana found in Madison Square Garden. This building served as a studio where he worked on such projects as the Standing Lincoln monument.

For any of you planning to visit us at our new building, the Saint-Gaudens homestead is truly worth seeing… it will make his beautiful gold $10 Indian Head and $20 double eagle more meaningful.