Elsie Ward Hering

Smiling woman in turtleneck, long unbuttoned coat, and beret standing in sculpture studio
Elsie Ward Hering in studio, undated, photograph, SAGA 10389, Box 3, Henry and Elsie Hering papers,

SAGA 10389, Box 3, Henry and Elsie Hering papers

Quick Facts
Place of Birth:
Howard County, MO
Date of Birth:
August 29, 1871
Place of Death:
New York City, NY
Date of Death:
January 12, 1923
Place of Burial:
Denver, CO
Cemetery Name:
Fairmount Cemetery

Elsie Ward Hering was a sculptor and studio assistant to Augustus Saint-Gaudens known for the finesse of her sculptural touch.

She began her art education in Denver, Colorado as a student of Ida. M. Stair, Samuel Richards, Henry Read, and Preston Powers. She continued in New York, studying with H. Siddons Mowbray, Daniel Chester French, and Augustus Saint-Gaudens at the Art Student’s League, 1896-1898. 

In 1901 she started assisting Saint-Gaudens in Cornish, NH. When the Cornish Large Studio burned in 1904, Ward dragged a ladder to the side of the completely clay model of the Charles Parnell Monument and wrested the head off of it, thus saving the most important part of the piece from the flames. She was also instrumental in the completion of the statue of General Sherman and “The Seated Lincoln.” After Saint-Gaudens died in 1907, she completed several unfinished works including the tomb for George F. Baker. Augusta Saint-Gaudens, wife of the late executive sculptor, formed a warm personal relationship with Elsie Ward, inviting her to stay in her guestroom.

Her own works include the Women’s Christian Temperance Union Drinking Foundation and the George Roger Clark Statue, both executed in plaster for the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis and the Schermerhorn Memorial Font in the Chapel of our Saviour in Denver, Colorado. Her work, Boy Teasing a Frog, won a bronze medal at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition and was included in an exhibition of Cornish artists at Dartmouth College in 1916.

She married another former assistant to Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Henry Hering, in 1910 and the two moved to New York City.

Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park

Last updated: April 19, 2023