Saturday, September 12, 2009

Saint-Gaudens: Mix of Art and Nature

We took a short visit to Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, NH after paddling Grafton Pond last Saturday. If you enjoy art and nature, it’s definitely worth a stop. It’s a beautiful outdoor site featuring the home, gardens, and studios of Augustus Saint Gaudens, a noted American sculptor during the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries.

We didn’t spend a lot of time here, so I won’t pretend to tell you everything you can find at this historic site, but here’s a little about what we did see:

Saint-Gaudens created public monuments, cameos, and portrait reliefs, as well as some of the first sculpted U.S. coins. Some of his most celebrated works are of Civil War heroes. We saw beautiful recasts of some of his work, including one of the Lincoln statue (above) that stands in Chicago. Other original works are in Washington, D.C., on Boston Common, and in Central Park, to name a few.

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While Saint-Gaudens work is definitely impressive, I was most captivated by a current exhibit featuring the work of Massachusetts artist Alan Colby. Colby has sculpted 200 heads out of limestone of people he’s met at the Dorchester House in Boston. You can see some of them above. His exhibit runs through October 31st.

Aside from taking in some artwork, we walked on the Ravine Trail, a fairly steep ¼ mile trail that takes you down a path along the “Blow-Me-Up-Brook” and ends with a swimming hole built by Saint-Gaudens. There’s also an outdoor marble temple where the ashes of Saint-Gaudens and many family members are buried. All in all, our stop at this historic site was a great little side trip on a beautiful summer day.

Things to Know Before You Go: The site is open daily from late May through late October. Admission is $5 per person. On Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009 admission is free in honor of National Public Lands Day. Visit the Saint-Gaudens website for more details.

1 comment:

The Former PK said...

Hey again Lucie! Thanks for your synopsis! Sounds intriguing. Maybe I'll check it out when we do Grafton Pond, which we will definitely do sometime!!

Oddly enough, I got an assignment to write an article about the 22 historical landmarks in NH and Saint-Gaudens National Memorial is one of them! It's more of an informational piece, so I won't be visiting all 22 of the landmarks, but it's funny.

With that being said, would you be willing to let me use any of the photos you took on your visit. I'll of course attribute you. If you would, just e-mail them to me (patricejustin@comcast.net). If not, no biggie. I'm just gathering as many photos as possible for the article. Thnx.