Saint-Gaudens: Art, History, and Glorious Gardens

Don and I spent an afternoon at Saint-Gaudens last week, and we just can’t say enough about this national historic site. August Saint-Gaudens was an American sculptor who summered in Cornish, NH for many years and lived on this beautiful property from 1900 to until his death in 1907.

Saint-Gaudens sculpted the Diana that stood atop Madison Square Garden from 1893 to 1925, the Robert Shaw Memorial for the Boston Common, and Abraham Lincoln: The Man, among many others. Original sculptures and recastings are strategically placed around the site, several in garden “rooms” designed especially to hold them.

All of the gardens are meticulously maintained, as is the house where Saint-Gaudens lived with his wife and entertained members of the Cornish Colony of artists and writers. The views of Mount Ascutney from the large front veranda are spectacular. Be sure to visit the Little Studio, where you can view the process from drawing to clay to plaster to bronze.

We highly recommend planning to spend a few hours at the site and signing up for a guided tour of the sculptures (included in the park fee). We gained a much deeper understanding of these magnificent pieces than we would have from simply viewing them on our own.

The park is a lovely 25-minute drive from the Applebutter Inn, traveling on Rt 12 S through Windsor. You will travel over one of the longest covered bridges in the US, which crosses the Connecticut River between Windsor and Cornish, NH.