- Paperback: 484 pages
- Publisher: Eastern National (May 15, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590910540
- ISBN-13: 978-1590910542
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #920,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Life and Works of Augustus Saint Gaudens
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Wilkinson works through Saint Gaudens apparently complicated personal life, his career as an artist, and the creation of his major (and many minor) works. Considerable narrative is devoted to discussing the major works such as the Farragut Statue, the Shaw Memorial, the Adams Memorial, and others. Wilkinson is very good on discussing the antecedents of Saint Gaudens work and is a balanced critic. When he thinks that a piece is not first-rate, he says so and explains why. Towards the end of career, Saint Gaudens was chronically ill and was more a supervisor of workers in his atelier than a sculptor, which probably accounts for the fact that some of his later works are merely good.
This book provides some insight into the nature of the American artistic efflorescence of this period, which is an interesting though minor aspect of the social history of the Gilded age. Wilkinson discusses not only Saint Gaudens but a number of other important American artists and this book is informative about how this group developed as a community.
There are a number of very nice photographs of Saint Gaudens' work. As good as the photographs are, they don't do justice to Saint Gaudens' best work and I strongly recommend seeking out opportunities to view his work. Anyone visiting Boston, for example, would do well to see the remarkably powerful Shaw Memorial on the Boston Common.