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Discover the History and Artistry of Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park

The History and Artistry of Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park

Nestled in the beautiful countryside of New Hampshire, Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park is a hidden gem that holds both historical significance and artistic brilliance. Named after the renowned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, this park offers a unique blend of history, art, and natural beauty.

In this article, we will delve into the fascinating history and notable features of this national park, shedding light on the life and work of Saint-Gaudens himself and exploring the magnificent artworks that grace the park’s Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park

With its rolling hills and breathtaking views, Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park is a testament to both natural splendor and human creativity. Established in 1964, the park preserves the legacy of one of America’s greatest sculptors, Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

Located in Cornish, New Hampshire, the park encompasses the home, studios, and gardens where Saint-Gaudens lived and worked for the last twenty years of his life.

The Life and Work of Augustus Saint-Gaudens

Augustus Saint-Gaudens was born in Ireland in 1848 and immigrated to the United States as a young child. Recognized for his exceptional artistic talents from an early age, Saint-Gaudens quickly rose to fame as a sculptor during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

His sculptures, characterized by their lifelike detail and exquisite craftsmanship, left an indelible mark on American art. Throughout his career, Saint-Gaudens created numerous masterpieces, including the awe-inspiring Shaw Memorial.

This remarkable sculpture, located at the heart of the park, pays tribute to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the valiant African American soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment during the Civil War. Standing at nearly twelve feet tall, the Shaw Memorial captures the bravery and spirit of these soldiers, forever immortalizing their sacrifice.

The Cornish Colony

Aside from its association with Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park also played a significant role in the Cornish Colony, an artist community that thrived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Established by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his peers, the Cornish Colony attracted renowned artists, writers, and musicians who sought inspiration amidst the idyllic New Hampshire landscape.

The park’s grounds boasted several picturesque studios and homes that served as havens for creativity and collaboration. Artists such as Maxfield Parrish, Thomas Dewing, and Mary Cassatt, among others, found solace and inspiration within the confines of this artistic haven.

The legacy of the Cornish Colony endures to this day, with the park paying homage to the artists who shaped its history.

Notable Features and Artworks

The Shaw Memorial, an African American Civil War Monument, stands as a testament to Saint-Gaudens’ talent and the bravery of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. Its larger-than-life sculptures and intricate details make it one of the park’s most notable attractions.

The memorial serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by African American soldiers and their pivotal role in shaping American history. The park’s landscape is also adorned with various other artworks created by Saint-Gaudens and his contemporaries.

From the Standing Lincoln statue to the Adams Memorial, each sculpture tells a story and leaves a lasting impression on visitors. The natural beauty of the park serves as a fitting backdrop for these magnificent artworks, creating a harmonious blend of art and nature.

In addition to the sculptures, Saint-Gaudens’ home and studio provide visitors with an intimate glimpse into the artist’s life. The preserved interiors and personal artifacts offer insights into his creative process, immersing visitors in the world of this artistic genius.


Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park is a treasure trove of history and art that deserves recognition and exploration. With its rich history, breathtaking artworks, and stunning landscapes, this park provides a captivating experience for visitors of all ages.

Whether you find solace in the tranquility of the natural surroundings or marvel at the mastery of Saint-Gaudens’ sculptures, a visit to this national park is a journey worth taking. So step into the world of Augustus Saint-Gaudens and let the history and artistry of this remarkable place ignite your imagination.

Visitor Information and Activities at Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park

To make the most of your visit to Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park, it’s important to know the practical details and available activities. From hours of operation to guided tours and educational programs, this section will provide you with all the visitor information you need to plan your visit.

Hours, Admission, and Location

Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park welcomes visitors from Memorial Day weekend through October. During this period, the park is open daily from 9 am to 4:30 pm.

However, it’s a good idea to check the park’s website or call ahead to confirm the current operating hours, as they may vary due to unforeseen circumstances or seasonal changes. Admission to the park is $10 for adults aged 16 and above, while visitors aged 15 and under can enter for free.

The fee covers entry to the park as well as access to the restored historic buildings and the guided tour of the main house. For those who plan to visit multiple national parks throughout the year, the America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass is an excellent option.

This pass grants access to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites, including Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park, for a whole year. The park is located in Cornish, New Hampshire, with its address being 139 Saint-Gaudens Road, Cornish, NH 03745.

Situated just off Route 12A, the park is easily accessible by car. There is ample parking available on-site, and the park is fully wheelchair accessible, ensuring that all visitors can enjoy its wonders.

Guided Tours and Programs

To enhance your visit, consider joining one of the guided tours or participating in the educational programs offered at Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park. Guided tours provide valuable insights into the life and work of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, as well as the rich history of the Cornish Colony.

The tours, led by knowledgeable rangers, give visitors the opportunity to explore the artist’s home, studios, and gardens. The main house, with its period furnishings and personal artifacts, provides a glimpse into Saint-Gaudens’ daily life.

The studios, on the other hand, offer a behind-the-scenes look at the artist’s creative process. The ranger-led tour also covers the history of the Cornish Colony, shedding light on the artists who once called this place home.

In addition to guided tours, the park offers educational programs suitable for visitors of all ages. These programs include art workshops, nature walks, and lectures that delve deeper into the art, history, and natural surroundings of the park.

From sculpting classes to guided hikes through the picturesque trails, these programs provide a hands-on and immersive experience for visitors with a thirst for knowledge.

Events and Exhibitions

Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park hosts a variety of events and exhibitions throughout the year, ensuring that every visit to the park is unique and memorable. One of the highlight events is the annual Summer Concert Series, which takes place in the park’s outdoor amphitheater.

The concerts feature talented musicians and performers from various genres, creating a vibrant and enchanting atmosphere. Sitting under the stars, surrounded by art and nature, while being serenaded by beautiful music is an experience to cherish.

The park also hosts temporary exhibitions and special events that showcase the works of contemporary artists inspired by Saint-Gaudens’ legacy. These exhibitions provide an opportunity for visitors to discover new artistic perspectives and engage with different art forms.

From sculpture exhibitions to multimedia installations, these temporary displays add another layer of vibrancy to the park’s artistic landscape. In addition, Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park occasionally organizes festivals and demonstrations that celebrate the artistic traditions and cultural heritage of the region.

These events feature live performances, traditional crafts, and interactive activities that allow visitors to actively participate and appreciate the diverse artistic expressions.


Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park is not only a place of astounding beauty and remarkable artworks but also a hub of educational and recreational activities. With its guided tours, engaging programs, captivating events, and thought-provoking exhibitions, the park provides visitors with a holistic experience.

Whether you choose to attend a concert, join a guided tour, or participate in an art workshop, there is something for everyone to enjoy and learn from. So, make the most of your visit to Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park by immersing yourself in its history, artistry, and engaging activities.

Conservation and Preservation Efforts at Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park

Preserving the legacy of Augustus Saint-Gaudens and maintaining the natural beauty of the park are of paramount importance at Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park. This section focuses on the conservation and preservation efforts put forth by the park to safeguard the sculptures and promote environmental sustainability.

Restoration and Maintenance of Sculptures

The sculptures that grace the landscape of Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park are not only magnificent works of art but also vulnerable to the passage of time and the elements. To ensure their longevity, the park carries out meticulous restoration and maintenance efforts.

A team of skilled conservators and technicians work diligently to preserve the sculptures and prevent any deterioration. The restoration process involves a delicate balance of careful cleaning, repair, and structural reinforcement.

Advanced techniques are employed to stabilize fragile elements, clean weathered surfaces, and protect the sculptures from environmental factors such as moisture and pollutants. Regular maintenance is also conducted to monitor the condition of the sculptures and address any issues promptly.

This includes periodic inspections, documentation of changes or damage, and implementation of preventive measures. The expertise and dedication of the park’s staff and conservators ensure that the sculptures at Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park continue to inspire and captivate visitors for generations to come.

Environmental Conservation Initiatives

In addition to the preservation of the sculptures, Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park is committed to environmental conservation and sustainable practices. The park recognizes the interconnectedness of natural and cultural resources and strives to minimize its environmental impact.

To reduce energy consumption and promote renewable energy sources, the park has implemented various initiatives. Energy-efficient lighting systems, including LED bulbs, have been installed throughout the park, significantly reducing electricity usage.

In areas where feasible, solar panels have been incorporated to generate clean and sustainable energy. These efforts not only help to reduce the park’s carbon footprint but also serve as educational examples for visitors on the importance of renewable energy.

Water conservation is another key focus at Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park. Through the implementation of low-flow fixtures, irrigation best practices, and water-efficient landscaping, the park endeavors to minimize water waste and promote responsible water usage.

These measures ensure that the park’s gardens and natural habitats thrive while maintaining a balance with the surrounding ecosystem. Furthermore, the park encourages sustainable transportation options by providing bike racks and promoting walking trails.

This approach aims to reduce vehicular traffic and carbon emissions, fostering a greener and healthier environment for both visitors and wildlife. Environmental education and outreach programs play a vital role in raising awareness and inspiring stewardship of the natural world.

Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park offers educational materials, guided nature walks, and workshops to engage visitors in environmental topics and conservation practices. By fostering a deeper understanding of our ecological responsibilities, the park encourages visitors to become ambassadors for environmental sustainability in their own communities.

Collaboration with local conservation organizations and community partners further amplifies the park’s preservation efforts. By working together, these entities can share resources, knowledge, and expertise to create a more comprehensive approach to environmental conservation.


Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park’s commitment to conservation and preservation is evident through its rigorous efforts to restore and maintain the sculptures and its initiatives to promote environmental sustainability. By safeguarding the sculptures for future generations and implementing measures to protect the environment, the park embraces its role as a protector of natural and cultural heritage.

Visitors to Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park not only have the opportunity to appreciate the artistic brilliance of Augustus Saint-Gaudens but also witness firsthand the importance of conservation and sustainable practices. Through education, collaboration, and responsible stewardship, the park seeks to inspire visitors to not only cherish the art and history but also take an active role in safeguarding our planet.

So, as you explore the park’s wonders, remember the value of conservation and preservation and the power we all possess to make a positive impact on our environment. In conclusion, Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park stands as a testament to the remarkable artistry and rich history of Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

Through its restoration and maintenance efforts, the park ensures the preservation of the sculptures, immortalizing their beauty for future generations. Additionally, the park’s commitment to environmental conservation promotes sustainable practices and inspires visitors to become stewards of our natural world.

By exploring the park, engaging in educational programs, and witnessing the intersection of art and nature, visitors are encouraged to appreciate the importance of preservation and take action to protect our cultural and natural heritage. Let us remember that by embracing conservation and sustainable practices, we can leave a lasting and positive impact on both our artistic heritage and the environment we cherish.

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