I discovered the sculptor Saint-Gaudens through a newspaper while working in Vermont. The article was on his Massachusetts 54th piece. Desiring to see his depiction of black soldiers in the Civil War, I drove to the estate. The grounds are not gaudy but lovely. As you drive up the long road leading to the St. Gaudens National Historic Site, you feel you're in for something special. Just walking the grounds is a joy but as I went in the shrubbery enclosed area for the Massachusetts 54th piece, I was blown away. It is one of the most beautiful pieces of art that I've seen. A walk down one of the trails on the opposite side to the stream was nice too. A colleague of mine asked me about the sculpture of the woman who had committed suicide. Although I wasn't overwhelmed as I wasn't by the Mona Lisa, he marveled over this particular piece. More impressive to me was the covered bridge on the road back to Vermont. The gift shop was not too spiffy. A print, postcard or mini-replica of the Massachusetts 54th piece would have been nice. Yet, the trip to St. Gaudens is very worthwhile.
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