The Reminiscences of Augustus Saint-Gaudens - Vol. 2

The Reminiscences of Augustus Saint-Gaudens - Vol. 2

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The Reminiscences of Augustus Saint-Gaudens - Vol. 2

The Reminiscences of Augustus Saint-Gaudens - Vol. 2

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Teaching in the Art Students' League--Affection of Master and Students--General Trend of Instruction--Detailed Advice--Instruction of Mature Assistants--Letters of Criticisms--Competitions-- Study Abroad.

SAINT-GAUDENS' text having led him through half his stay in New York, offers me a fitting place to enlarge on Ms chief professional interest not definitely connected with his own work, his teaching. This interest developed as the natural result not only of his high reverence for the seriousness of the art of sculpture, but also because of a strongly reciprocated affection for youth. The French masters, such as Colin or Gérôme, often charged a round sum for a criticism, but if Saint- Gaudens felt certain that a pupil was serious in his efforts, he would go any distance to give advice to that pupil. He would go, busy or sick. He would go even when he knew that the zest of his subsequent morning's or afternoon's work would be impaired or demolished by the reaction of genuine regret over his pupil's lack of ability. Moreover, with the same spirit, toward the close of a competition in his class, to which he was supposed to come only twice a week, he would often appear every afternoon and Sundays as well; while, whenever he believed he had discovered some new idea about his work, he could not be happy until he had explained it to those he taught. For instance, after he had modeled upon the Sherman cloak about two months, he suddenly caught the composition he desired. He never rested till he had finished. But on the moment of its completion he hurried uptown to his class to tell them that "When an idea . . .

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