February 3, 2018 through April, 2018
In the late 19th century, two sculptors stood atop the world’s artistic stage: the Frenchman Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) and the American Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907). Saint-Gaudens drew artistic inspiration from Renaissance artists such as Michelangelo as well as classical Greek and Roman sculpture. He was, however, very much a man of his times. His Diana fused classical subject matter with the clean lines of a modern aesthetic. It sat atop New York’s Madison Square Garden where the monumental female nude was seen by some Victorian New Yorkers as scandalous, while its nighttime illumination by electric light was an engineering and artistic first.
Though Saint-Gaudens started his career in New York City and later managed studios in Europe and New York City, he established his home and studio in Cornish, N.H. where several of his major works were conceived and developed. He was called upon to execute the most important American commemorative monuments of the era including the Shaw Memorial in Boston, The Standing Abraham Lincoln in Chicago, and the Sherman Monument in New York’s Central Park.
Working in collaboration with the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, the largest repository of the artist’s work, the Currier’s exhibition will highlight several of the sculptor’s most important commissions. It will also include examples of his delicate and poignant portrait reliefs of family members and famous artist friends.