Welcome to the audio-described version of official print brochure for Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park. Through text and audio descriptions of photos, historical objects, and maps, this version interprets the two-sided color brochure that Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park visitors receive. The brochure explores the history of the park, some of its highlights, and information for planning your visit. This audio version lasts about 35 minutes which we have divided into 20 sections, as a way to improve the listening experience. Sections 3-12 cover the front of the brochure and include who Augustus Saint-Gaudens was, along with his impact on art and sculptures during the American Renaissance. Sections 13-18 cover the back of the brochure which includes an in-depth map of the historic site as well as specific attractions within the park and the surrounding are. Section 19 covers Accessibility and 20 covers More Information.
Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park, located in New Hampshire, is part of the National Park
Service, within the Department of the Interior. The 190 acre park was expanded in October of 2010 and is
located in the town of Cornish at the edge of the Connecticut River. This
site became the National Historic Landmark in June of 1962, became a National Historic Site in August of 1964, and established in October 1966 with the National Register of Historic Places.
Each year, approximately 30,000 visitors come to enjoy the unique experiences that
only can be had at Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park. We invite you to explore the home, gardens, and studios of Augustus Saint-Gaudens. For those seeking to learn more
about the park during their visit, please visit the visitor center or call us at 603-675-2175. To find out more
about what resources might be available or to contact the park directly, visit
the "Accessibility" and "More Information" sections at the
end of this audio-described brochure.
The front side of the brochure goes over who Augustus Saint-Gaudens was as a person and his impact on art during the American Renaissance. The top third of the page goes in-depth on Saint-Gaudens first 20 years in Cornish. The middle of the page reviews his sculptures and his abilities as an art teacher. The bottom third of the page discusses Saint-Gaudens career creations of cameos, medals, coins, and portrait reliefs.
DESCRIPTION: Colored painting of Augustus Saint-Gaudens sculpting. His body faces right with a serious look. Augustus has red hair and beard that connects on his face. With his right arm straight in front pushing into an upright clay relief placed on an easel. Sculptures and other artwork is present in the background.
CAPTION: Painting of Saint-Gaudens by Kenyon Cox, 1908.
CREDIT: Metropolitan Museum of Art
DESCRIPTION: Two story white house with a single window lookout off the roof. Four windows with black shutters on the second floor and five on the first floor with black shutters. A rounded black and white door is off centered to the left. One chimney on each side of the house. A covered porch is set to the right side. Marble stairs lead up a small hill to the doorway. Bright green grass expands the picture. Trees and plants circle the house. Flashes of red and pink from roses. Gray cloudy sky with foggy view of Mt. Ascutney.
CAPTION: Aspet and the formal gardens with view of Mt. Ascutney in the distance.
CREDIT: Richard W. Brown
DESCRIPTION, The Little Studio is a two story red building with a brown roof and white columns spanning the side. A white pergola with green vines bordering the building. Green and red bushes line the perimeter of the building. Large green tree with white and black bark to the right of the studio. Green grass covers the foreground. The sky is bright blue with small fluffy clouds to the left of the building.
CAPTION, The Little Studio
DESCRIPTION: Gray scale photograph of Augustus Saint-Gaudens leaning against a tree, Homer (his son) who is bent down touching their goat Seasick's head, and Marie (his niece) who is leaning over a portion of a rectangular pool of water with a stone boarder below a grouping of large leaves and trees. Above the water is a stone sculture of a person from the chest up. A portion of a bench is to the right of everyone.
CAPTION: Saint-Gaudens, his niece Marie, his son Homer, and Seasick the goat, 1892.
Augustus Saint-Gaudens first came to Cornish in 1885, renting an old inn for the summer from his friend and lawyer, Charles C. Beaman. He adapted the house to his needs and converted a hay barn into a studio. Saint-Gaudens grew to love the place and finally purchased it in 1892. The family continued to summer here until 1900, after which it became their year-round home. He named the estate Aspet after his father’s birthplace in France. Over the years he transformed the grounds with gardens, hedges, and recreation areas, including a swimming pool, bowling green, and nine-hole golf course. The house, built about 1817, was completely remodeled: a graceful, curving stairway with a study was added off the main hallway, along with new bedrooms, a sun room, dormers, and a wide porch with columns.
As his popularity grew and commissions poured in, Saint-Gaudens built a large studio where his assistants worked. Saint-Gaudens’ role became that of an executive producer, developing the concept and initial models for a sculpture, then directing his assistants in completing the work. In 1904 the large studio burned, destroying the sculptor’s correspondence, sketchbooks, and many works in progress. A redesigned structure, the Studio of the Caryatids, was quickly built, but in 1944 it too burned.
Many well-known artists followed Saint-Gaudens to Cornish, forming what was known as the Cornish Colony: painters Maxfield Parrish, Thomas Dewing, George de Forest Brush, Lucia Fuller, and Kenyon Cox; dramatist Percy MacKaye; American novelist Winston Churchill; architect Charles Platt; and sculptors Paul Manship, Herbert Adams, and Augustus’ brother Louis Saint-Gaudens. They created a dynamic social environment with Augustus Saint-Gaudens at its center.
In 1905 members of the art colony produced the play “A Masque of Ours: The Gods and the Golden Bowl” at the site, to honor Saint-Gaudens’ twentieth year in Cornish. The stage set in the form of a Greek temple was later recreated in marble. It is now the final resting place of Saint-Gaudens and his family.
After Saint-Gaudens’ death in 1907, the Cornish Colony artists gradually dispersed. Aspet remains a reminder of that community and the work of one of the nation’s greatest sculptors.
DESCRIPTION: Bronze cast of a soldier riding a horse. Surround the horse is soldiers holding bayonets. Soaring above everyone is a person with long wavy cloths draped pointing forward. Granite columns form an archway circles around the cast.
CAPTION: Shaw Memorial, final version, 1900, bronze cast 1997, exhibited in the Bowling Green.
RELATED TEXT: A sculptor's work endures so long that it is next to a crime for him to neglect to do everything that lies in his power to execute a result that will not be a disgrace.
– Augustus Saint-Gaudens
IMAGE 1 of 3: Art Students League
DESCRIPTION: Black and white image of a group of people standing around multiple tables and on the floor. Human like statues stand on each table holding an item. Each person wears a smock or apron.
CAPTION: Saint-Gaudens and students at the Art Students League, ca. 1888.
IMAGE 2 of 3: Sherman Monument model
DESCRIPTION: A group of people standing side by side in front of the Sherman Monument model lifted on a large table. Large ladders are on all walls. Large white monument of a man with a over coat riding a horse. A woman reaches out standing in front of the horse.
CAPTION: Model of the Sherman Monument, Cornish, NH, ca. 1901.
IMAGE 3 of 3: Diana
DESCRIPTION: Bronze statue of a person standing on one leg pulling a bow and arrow facing the right.
CAPTION: Diana, second version, 1892.
CREDIT: Metropolitan Museum of Art
Augustus Saint-Gaudens was born March 1, 1848, in Dublin, Ireland, to a French shoemaker and his Irish wife. Six months later, the family emigrated to New York City, where Augustus grew up. After completing school at age 13, he expressed strong interest in art as a career and was apprenticed to a cameo cutter. While working days at his cameo lathe, Augustus also attended art classes at New York’s Cooper Union and the National Academy of Design.
At 19, with his apprenticeship completed and his mind set on becoming a sculptor, he traveled to Paris where he studied at the renowned École des Beaux-Arts. In 1870 he left Paris for Rome, where for the next five years he studied classical art and architecture and worked on his first commissions. In Rome Saint-Gaudens also met an American art student, Augusta Homer, whom he later married. In 1876 he received his first major commission: a monument to Civil War Adm. David Glasgow Farragut. Unveiled in New York in 1881, the work was a tremendous success; its combination of realism and allegory marked a departure from previous American sculpture. Saint-Gaudens’ fame grew, and other commissions quickly came to him.
Saint-Gaudens’ increased prominence allowed him to pursue his strong interest in teaching, something he did steadily from 1888 to 1897. He privately tutored young artists, taught at the Art Students League, and took on many assistants. He was also an artistic advisor to the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, an avid supporter of the American Academy in Rome, and a member of the MacMillan Commission, which made recommendations for the architectural and artistic preservation and improvement of the Nation’s Capital.
Saint-Gaudens’ greatest legacy may be his public monuments, such as the Sherman Monument in New York’s Central Park and his “Standing Lincoln” in Chicago, one of the finest representations of the Civil War President. Infused with both realism and idealism, Saint-Gaudens’ monuments had a dynamic quality not seen before in American sculpture. The monument to Gen. William T. Sherman is a dramatic example of this technique, with the winged Victory leading a resolute Sherman on his march to the sea. He produced other enduring and distinctive public sculpture, such as the Adams Memorial, Peter Cooper Monument, and Gen. John A. Logan Monument. Perhaps his greatest achievement during this period was the Shaw Memorial, unveiled in Boston in 1897. Described as Saint-Gaudens’ “symphony in bronze,” this masterpiece took 14 years to complete.
Saint-Gaudens pioneered the integration of architecture, landscape design, and monumental sculpture, collaborating with leading architects like Stanford White to create innovative and unique settings for his works.
After being diagnosed with cancer in 1900, Saint-Gaudens decided to make Cornish his home year-round. For the next seven years, despite diminishing energy, he continued to work, producing a steady stream of reliefs and public sculpture. Following his death on August 3, 1907, his wife Augusta and their son Homer continued to summer at Aspet. In 1919 they established the Saint-Gaudens Memorial, an organization dedicated to preserving the place as a historic site. In 1965 the Memorial donated the property to the National Park Service.
IMAGE 1 of 2: Stone Cameos
DESCRIPTION: Two oval shaped white stone cameos over one another, surrounded with a black background and round gold frames. Top cameo is Mary Queen of Scots facing right. She wears a crown with a wide brim collar that wraps around her neck. The circular golden frame creates a pattern of two short segments sticking out then a long segment. This pattern continues around the entire frame.
Bottom cameo is Mars facing left. He wears a metal war helmet with a pointed front and tail over the top. The golden circular frame is smooth with a single point coming off the top, bottom, and both sides. The points come off of a rounded extension with a pearl in the center.
CAPTION: Stone cameos of Mary Queen of Scots, 1873, and Mars, 1873.
IMAGE 2 of 2: Dollar coins
DESCRIPTION: Two round golden coins. Top one is 2/3rd the size of the bottom one. Top coin has a person with an American Indian headdress faces the left with 1909 beneath. Smaller illegible lettering crosses the band of the headpiece. Stars circle half the coin on top.
The bottom coin has a woman walking towards the front with a long flowing dress and hair blowing in the wind. In her right hand is a staff with a flame on top and her left hand is holding a branch with leaves on it. Above the woman is the word Liberty. Smaller illegible lettering is to the bottom left of the woman. Stars circle the boarder of the coin except for the far bottom left.
CAPTION: Ten- and 20-dollar gold pieces, 1909 and 1907.
Saint-Gaudens began his artistic career working in a form of miniature relief sculpture, the cameo. Apprenticed for six years in his youth to a cameo cutter, he produced a host of beautifully delicate cameos in both shell and stone.
Later in life he created other masterpieces in miniature: medals and coins. He did commemorative medals for the Centennial of George Washington’s inauguration in 1889 and the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. He also executed the Theodore Roosevelt Special Inaugural medal in 1905. In 1904 the president asked him to design three coins for the US Mint: the one- cent coin and the 10- and 20-dollar gold pieces. Roosevelt and Saint-Gaudens wanted to evoke the beauty of ancient Greek and Roman high-relief coins.
The 1904 commission made Saint-Gaudens the first sculptor to design fully any American coins. The coins’ high relief led to initial production problems, but the Mint began issuing the gold pieces a few months after Saint-Gaudens’ death in 1907 and continued to make them until 1933. The obverse of the 20-dollar double eagle coin, featuring the standing Liberty, is still used for United States gold bullion coins. Many artists and collectors still find the beauty of Saint-Gaudens’ design without parallel in American coins.
IMAGE 1 of 4: Augusta Homer Saint-Gaudens
DESCRIPTION: Green rectangular portrait relief of a female facing the left. She wears a long flowing dress with elbow length puffy sleeves. Her hair is tied up. Impressions of columns are in the distance.
CAPTION: Augusta Homer Saint-Gaudens, 1906.
IMAGE 2 of 4: Louise Howland
DESCRIPTION: Tarnished silver portrait relief that is rectangular with rounded top of a female looking forward. She is wearing a tight dress on top and flowing skirt on the bottom. Her hands are crossed as she leans to her right. Stippling circles the top arch of the relief.
CAPTION: Louise Howland, 1884.
IMAGE 3 of 4: Robert Louis Stevenson
DESCRIPTION: Yellowish gold horizontal rectangle portrait relief. Side profile of a man sitting up in a bed. Holding a book like object in his left hand with a blanket draped over his legs. Illegible writing is along the top.
CAPTION: Robert Louis Stevenson, 1888.
IMAGE 4 of 4: William E. Beaman
DESCRIPTION: Grayish-brown circular portrait relief of a young boy facing the left. He has long flowing hair in the back and short hair in the front. Illegible writing is below the boy.
CAPTION: William E. Beaman, 1885.
RELATED TEXT: Among Saint-Gaudens’ crowning achievements are his portrait reliefs. Considered the most complicated and difficult type of sculpture, bas-relief (low relief) has been likened to “drawing in clay.” As such, relief does not deal with actual form but the appearance of form. Details and perspective must be conveyed by means of light falling on subtle surface contours.
Saint-Gaudens’ reliefs are found in a variety of media, including bronze, wood, marble, and plaster, and show a vitality and liveliness rarely seen in this form. His work demonstrates not only beauty in its composition but subtlety of expression and insight into the character of the subject. Muralist Kenyon Cox called him “the most complete master of relief since the 15th century.”
Many prominent individuals, like Cornelius Vanderbilt and Samuel Gray Ward, commissioned Saint-Gaudens to model portraits of them and their families. He produced over one hundred such portrait reliefs.
Compositions in low relief include those of his wife Augusta, his neighbor’s son William E. Beaman, and Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson, one of his most popular subjects. The portrait of Louise Howland is in very high relief.
DESCRIPTION: Colored cartoon like map used for orientation while on the property. Thick dense trees circle Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park. In the far distance water spans from left to right following more land, trees, and mountains. Right foreground is a glimpse of a small river or stream. The park is rectangle in shape with rounded corners starting at the bottom left spanning to the center right of the map. Each building is numbered from 1-19 to coincide with the key. Majority of the grass is green through the park except for the furthest part of the grass from the foreground which is yellowish brown.
Saint-Gaudens Road travels from the bottom left to the middle of the map. Buildings and parking lots follow along side the road. Following the rectangular outline starting at the bottom left corner is the Visitor Center numbered 2, which is brown and in the shape of a letter L. Next is the Caretaker's Garage numbered 3. The garage is broken into two buildings. Closest to the Visitor Center is a two segment building with two separate heights, it is brown with a darker roof. Directly next to it tall hedges circle around the second building. Second building has three segments all being brown with a gray roof, the middle segment is the longest. Utility road connects Saint-Gaudens Road to the Visitor Center, the Caretaker's Garage, and Handicap parking.
The utility road separates the Caretaker's Garage and the Cutting Garden labeled 11. Tall hedges circle the garden and rows of colors fill in inside. Directly next to the Cutting Garden is the Stable and Icehouse Labeled 10. A wooden fence circles the side of the building. A small pathway connects the Stable and Icehouse to the Aspet numbered 15. The Aspet has tall hedges circling the front yard. The building is a three floor home with a porch and patio on the front. Two chimneys on either side of the home. The building side has a white fence and two tall, skinny trees.
Across the road from these three sites is the Visitor Center Trail labeled 1, that starts in a parking lot furthest from the Visitor Center and follows the road till the utility road entrance. Further down the road is a RV and overflow parking lot, completing one side of the rectangle.
In the furthest top right corner is the Blow-Me-Down Trail labeled 19, which is hidden behind a large grouping of trees. Along the tree line closer to the Blow-Me-Down Trail is the Temple numbered 18. Continuing back to the foreground surrounded by trees is the Ravine Trail numbered 17 and the Ravine Studio number 16. The Ravine Studio is a blue building with a brown roof.
The foreground most buildings from left to right start with the New Gallery and Atrium number 7. The building is connected to an open rectangular atrium with a square section of hedges. Picture Gallery numbered 6, begins at the end of the Atrium. To the left of the Picture Gallery is the Farragut Monument numbered 5 and Abraham Lincoln: The Man numbered 4. The trail between the Atrium and the Farragut Monument is a circular path with a focus point in the center.
Perpendicular to this clumping of buildings and the center of the map is a long rectangular line of tall hedges and trees with a path between. Within the rectangular hedges is three buildings; Shaw Memorial numbered 9, Bowling Green numbered 8, and Adams Memorial numbered 12.
To the side of the Aspet numbered 15 and behind Adams Memorial numbered 12 is the Flower Garden numbered 13. Between the Flower Garden and the back edge of the map is the Little Studio with is a large building with two chimny stacks on both sides.
CREDIT: NPS/L. Kenneth Townsend/Eliot Cohen
Welcome to the home, gardens, and studios of one of America’s greatest sculptors. This was Saint-Gaudens’ summer residence from 1885 to 1897 and his permanent home from 1900 until his death in 1907. Numbers key these points of interest to the illustration at right.
IMAGE 1 of 4: Little Studio
DESCRIPTION: Colored image of a room with reflective black floors, wooden paneling along the bottom half of the wall with white along the remainder of the walls with white ceilings. A statue of a person standing on one leg and aiming a bow and arrow to the right side of the image is propped up with a circular white base. Behind the statue is a fireplace and to the left is a white door. Around the room has multiple shapes and sized pieces of art resting on the wooden panels.
CAPTION: Interior, Little Studio.
IMAGE 2 of 4: Atrium and pool
DESCRIPTION: Color image of a golden statue in the center distance with bright green grass and trees encompassing the image. A perfect reflection of the golden statue is shown in a pool of water located down the center of the image. Lily pads and other plants float within the water. Cement boarder surrounds the water. Vines and trees board the back wall creating an arch around the statue.
CAPTION: Atrium and pool, New Gallery.
IMAGE 3 of 4: Dining Room
DESCRIPTION: Color image of wooden table with a dark red gloss, surrounded by black chairs. White and blue table runner span the table with two golden candle holders and a yellowish-pink floral center piece. To the right of the table is an orange wall with a black fireplace with golden plates resting on the mantle. Above is a golden 3D portrait. Directly next to the fire place is a cabinet with small red and blue items resting on top. A painting rests on the wall above with a golden frame. On the left wall is a landscape painting the covers the wall entirely. A long cabinet is placed in front of the wall with many different items.
CAPTION: Dining room at Aspet.
IMAGE 4 of 4: Flower Garden
DESCRIPTION: Color image of the flower garden with green grass and green trees occupying the image. A building covered in vines sits in the back. Small golden statue stands on a white column. Purple and pink tall skinny flowers are along the foreground. Pops of red are scattered through the grounds. A trail leads through the garden on the left to the building in the back.
CAPTION: Flower Garden
DESCRIPTION: Broad overview of park and surrounding area. The right side is New Hampshire with the Connecticut River shooting up the center dividing the land from Vermont on the left side. North arrow points to the top of the map, distance scale bar depicts 5 Kilometers and 5 Miles. From bottom of the map to the top:
Route 103 connects Claremont, NH to Ascutney, VT by bridge which turns into Route 131 as it travels west. Staying on the NH side, Route 103 separates to Route 12A traveling north. Approximately 5 miles from the split is another bridge the connects NH to VT through Windsor, VT. 3 miles north of the bridge is Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park located off of Route 12A. 10 miles north Route 12A pass through Interstate 89 in West Lebanon, NH. Route 12A continues north into Hanover, NH and continues north off the map. Interstate 89 travels from the north west where it meets with Route 12A. Interstate 89 crosses the Connecticut River into White River Junction, VT and continues northwest. Following the Connecticut River from the bottom of the map to the top off the map is Interstate 91 where is overlaps Interstate 89 at White River Junction, VT. On the VT side of Interstate 89, Route 4 detaches traveling towards the west. 13 miles from the separation is Woodstock, VT where Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park is located.
Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park is just off NH 12A in Cornish, NH. It is 12 miles south of West Lebanon, NH, 12 miles north of Claremont, NH, and two miles from Windsor, VT.
From Windsor, cross the covered bridge and turn left on NH 12A. From I-89 take exit 20 (West Lebanon) and go south on NH 12A. From I-91 take exit 8 (Ascutney) and go east to NH 12A north.
The park has no public telephone, food service, or camping facilities, but neighboring communities offer these services. The visitor center has wheelchair-accessible restrooms.
The site is open daily from late May through late October. The buildings are open from 9 am to 4:30 pm, and the grounds until dusk. An admission fee is charged for persons over 15 years of age. This is a federal fee area; America the Beautiful Annual, Senior, and Access passes are honored.
Be alert to traffic when you cross from the parking lot, and take care while touring the park. The marble steps are slippery when wet, and the brick paths may be uneven. Watch for bees and for poison ivy near the forest and trails. For firearms regulations check the park website.
Emergencies call 911
We strive to make our facilities, services, and programs accessible to all. For information call or check our website at 603-675-2175 or www.nps.gov/saga.
ADDRESS: 139 Saint-Gaudens Rd., Cornish, NH 03745-9704
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Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park is one of over 400 parks in the National Park System. To learn more about national parks and National Park Service programs in America’s communities visit www.nps.gov.