About This Lesson
The lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file, "Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site" (with photographs), The Reminiscences of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and The Work of Augustus Saint-Gaudens. It was written by James A. Percoco, a social studies teacher at West Springfield High School in Virginia. The lesson was edited by the Teaching with Historic Places staff. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: This lesson plan focuses on patron-commissioned bas-reliefs, the enigmatic Adams Memorial, and the gold coins created by Saint-Gaudens. It can be used to teach units on the Gilded Age or the role of art and artists in society.
Time period: Late 19th century
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) To identify stages in Saint-Gaudens' training and career that established him as the leading American sculptor of the 19th century.
2) To examine how the life, home, and studio of an important American artist reflected traits and values of the Gilded Age in America.
3) To explain the difference between sculpture-in-the-round and bas-relief sculpture.
4) To describe how the growth of the Cornish Art Colony reflected the role of the arts in society.
5) To engage students in looking at their own community for evidence of the visual arts.
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-quality version.
1) two maps of the site and surrounding region;
2) five readings on Saint-Gaudens' life and work;
3) one drawing of Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site;
4) six photos of the site and some of Saint-Gaudens' works.
Visiting the site
Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, administered by the National Park Service, is located on New Hampshire State Route 12-A in Cornish, New Hampshire. It is 9 miles north of Claremont, New Hampshire, 18 miles south of Hanover, New Hampshire, and 2 miles north of Windsor, Vermont. The site may be reached via the West Lebanon, New Hampshire, exit on U.S. Interstate 89 or the Ascutney or Hartland, Vermont, exits on U.S. Interstate 91. The park is open May through October. For more information, contact the Superintendent, Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, R.R. 2, Cornish, NH 03745, or visit the park's Web pages.