Saint-Gaudens, When He Is Not At Home

Nothing beats an afternoon at the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish NH: the grounds flowering in season, the tour of the artist’s home, on some Sundays, a concert in the studio, picnics just outside the doors. Even as you are awaiting such summer activities in the Upper Valley, Saint-Gaudens is also receiving visitors at a more Southern location—the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester NH.

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The Sculpture of Augustus Saint-Gaudens is the first major museum exhibition of the artist’s work held in New England in 30 years. The important pieces are there; Diana occupies the center of one gallery, a rendition of the Shaw Memorial and a smaller version of the Standing Lincoln are on display. 

The Adams Memorial, sometimes called Grief

On a recent busy Saturday afternoon, however, it was the Adams Memorial—set aside, reverently it seemed, in its own gallery—that stopped viewers in their tracks. It drew them near, or propelled them to a bench just in front of the sculpture for quiet contemplation. 

A different gallery features works of other Cornish Colony residents, such as a painting by artist and part-time visiting farmer William Zorach (below). Artifacts, photos, and correspondence from the period round out a depiction of Saint-Gaudens’ life in Cornish. 

William Zorach, Plowing the Fields, Plainfield, New Hampshire, 1917, oil on canvas

The exhibition runs through May 20, 2018. Museum passes are sometimes available through Upper Valley libraries.  For hours and further information, please see the Currier’s website.


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