Augustus Saint-Gaudens was one of America’s most prolific sculptors, so it should come as no surprise that his estate was gorgeous enough to make into a museum.
The gifted sculptor’s summer residence for almost 60 years, Saint-Gaudens made the grounds his permanent home in 1900, and it remained his home until his death seven years later. The historic site is made up of both his house and studios, a tribute to his collection with casts of many of his famous pieces and original works.
When he purchased the house in the 1890s, it was in a dilapidated state. Built between 1816 and 1817, it was called a Folly by locals, since apparently the brothers who built it expected heavy foot traffic that never came and their plans were doomed to fail. Thankfully Saint-Gaudens renovated it a few decades later. The house boasts a double parlor, a set of three tapestries purchased in Paris by his famous student, Frederick Mac-Monnies, and a dining room with Windsor chairs.
Tours are given daily from Memorial Day through Halloween. Casts of the Adams Memorial, Shaw Memorial, Farragut Memorial, Victory from the General Sherman Memorial, and The Puritan are exhibited, as well as his portraiture and coin designs.
The Cornish Art Colony was established here in the early 20th Century, lasting through World War I, and today the site maintains a Sculptor-in-Residence program.