The most talented and accomplished American sculptor of the nineteenth century, Augustus Saint-Gaudens created over the course of his career a pantheon of public statuary commemorating presidents, military commanders, clerics, tycoons, and social lions.
Augustus Saint-Gaudens (; March 1, 1848 – August 3, 1907) was an American sculptor of the Beaux-Arts generation who embodied the ideals of the American Renaissance. From a French-Irish family, Saint-Gaudens was raised in New York City. He traveled to Europe for further training and artistic study. After he returned to New York, he achieved major critical success for his monuments commemorating heroes of the American Civil War, many of which still stand. Saint-Gaudens created works such as the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial on Boston Common, Abraham Lincoln: The Man, and grand equestrian monuments to Civil War generals: General John Logan Memorial in Chicago's Grant Park and William Tecumseh Sherman at the corner of New York's Central Park. In addition, he created the popular historicist representation of The Puritan.
Saint-Gaudens also created Classical works such as the Diana, and employed his design skills in numismatics. He designed the $20 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle gold piece (1905–1907) for the US Mint, considered one of the most beautiful American coins ever issued, as well as the $10 "Indian Head" gold eagle; both of these were minted from 1907 until 1933. In his later years he founded the "Cornish Colony", an artist's colony in New Hampshire that included notable painters, sculptors, writers, and architects. His brother Louis Saint-Gaudens, with whom he occasionally collaborated, was also a well-known sculptor.