Studio of the Caryatids
Once Saint-Gaudens became established, he took on assistants to help with his growing number of commissions. In 1900, when he returned to America from three years living in Paris, he decided to make Cornish his year–round home. He constructed a two story, barn-like structure called the Large Studio. It tapered to one story tall at one end, much like an old camera bellows, so that he could look at the sculpture from a distance. He first used the studio to complete the heroic-size, equestrian monument to General Sherman erected at Grand Army Plaza in Manhattan. In October 1904, the Large Studio burned to the ground with the loss of various works in progress, as well as many personal belongings that were stored there. The nearly complete statue of Charles Stewart Parnell for Dublin, Ireland, was destroyed, forcing him to start over. Increasingly weakened by cancer, it was to be the last public monument that he saw to completion.
Did You Know?
Augustus Saint-Gaudens was the first sculptor to design an American coin. The $20 gold piece he designed in 1907 at the request of Theodore Roosevelt, is considered this country's most beautiful coin and is called a "Saint-Gaudens" by coin collectors.