Louis Saint-Gaudens

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Louis Saint-Gaudens
Louis Saint-Gaudens seated in a chair
Born1854 (1854)
Died1913 (1914)
EducationÉcole des Beaux-Arts
Known forSculpture
SpouseAnnetta Johnson

Louis Saint-Gaudens (January 1, 1854 – March 8, 1913) was an American sculptor of the Beaux-Arts generation. He was the brother of renowned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens; Louis later changed the spelling of his name to St. Gaudens to differentiate himself from his well-known brother.

Life and career[edit]

Born in New York City to a French-born father, Bernard Paul Ernest Saint-Gaudens, and an Irish-born mother, Mary McGuiness, Louis received his early training as a cameo cutter from his brother, who later assisted him in beginning his art studies in Rome. In 1878 he and his brother Augustus moved to Paris where they shared a studio and attended the École des Beaux-Arts. Louis studied at the École from 1879 to 1880.

Returning to America, he settled in Flint, Ohio, where he lived from 1898 to 1900. There he met his future wife, sculptor Annetta Johnson. Their son, Paul Saint-Gaudens, was a master potter who became known for his Orchard Kiln Pottery Works. In 1900 the family relocated to Cornish, New Hampshire, a mile away from Louis's brother's studio.[1]

For the rest of his life, Louis Saint-Gaudens not only worked as his brother's assistant but also pursued commissions of his own. He sculpted major pieces for the Boston Public Library; the Church of the Ascension, New York; The Brearley School, New York; Union Station, Washington, D.C.; U.S. Customs House, New York; St. Louis Art Museum; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; New York Life Insurance Company Building, New York; the Joseph Francis U.S. Congressional Medal; and the Benjamin Franklin Centennial Medal of 1906.

The over fifty sculptures that Saint-Gaudens completed for Washington, D.C.'s Union Station are considered his masterwork. He was a member of the National Sculpture Society.


Louis Saint-Gaudens died of pneumonia, aged 59, in Cornish, New Hampshire. His home and studio in Cornish, New Hampshire, a former Shaker Meetinghouse, were on the National Register of Historic Places until they were destroyed by fire in 1980.[2]

Significant works[edit]

Thales (Electricity), sculpture from The Progress of Railroading (1912), Union Station (Washington, DC).
Massive bronze sculpture of an eagle tending a nest of baby eaglets above the entrance of the New York Life Insurance Building in Kansas City, Missouri, (1890).



  1. ^ Opitz, Glenn B., Mantle Fielding's Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers, Apollo Books, Poughkeepsie, New York, 1988
  2. ^ Croft, Georgia (June 2, 1980). "Historic Residence is Razed". Valley News. pp. 1, 8. Retrieved February 9, 2024.


  • "Art In American Churches", New York Times, January 20, 1895
  • "Art Notes", New York Times, December 21, 1884
  • "Louis St. Gaudens Dead", New York Times, March 13, 1913
  • "Uncle Sam's Medal Factory", Washington Post, June 13, 1909
  • Armstrong, Craven, et al., 200 Years of American Sculpture, Whitney Museum of Art, NYC, 1976
  • Craven, Wayne, Sculpture in America, Thomas Y. Crowell Co, NY, NY 1968
  • Goode, James M., The Outdoor Sculpture of Washington, DC, Smithsonian Press, Washington, DC, 1974
  • Johnson, Louis, Early History of the Home & Studios of Louis and Annette St. Gaudens Published by John H. Dryfhout, Cornish, NH
  • Saint-Gaudens, Augustus, The Reminiscences of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Edited and Amplified by Homer Saint-Gaudens, Published By The Century Co. New York, MCMXIII
  • Taft, Lorado, The History of American Sculpture, MacMillan Co., New York, NY 1925
  • Wilkinson, Burke, and David Finn, photographs, Uncommon Clay: The Life and Works of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers, San Diego 1985
  • The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough, Simon & Schuster, New York, NY, May 2011

External links[edit]