Augustus Saint-Gaudens, one of the most renowned American sculptors, was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1848, but raised in New York City. He studied at the Cooper Union and the National Academy of Design but learned his craft as the apprentice to a cameo maker, which may have led to his skill with the relief portraits that helped to make his name.
He also studied in Paris and had his first studio in Rome, but in the 1870s he returned to New York, where he began to work with a variety of designers and architects on collaborative projects such as large-scale sculptures in elaborate settings and church and mansion interiors.
His memorial sculpture of Admiral Farragut earned him other commissions for commemorative figures, including Abraham Lincoln and General Sherman.
In 1900 he moved to Cornish, NH, where there was an artists’ colony that included his brother, also a sculptor. He died in 1907, and his Cornish studio is now a national historic site.