Find Peace, Nature and Art at the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site

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“Adams Memorial” at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site Photo by Susanna Hargreaves

There is a magnificent collection of outdoor art by the prolific sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens in Cornish, New Hampshire.

Hidden behind a brick path and a floor-to-ceiling wall of shrubbery waits a most hauntingly beautiful bronze sculpture known as the “Adams Memorial.”

According to the museum’s history, Augustus Saint-Gaudens called the abstract statue “The Mystery of the Hereafter … beyond pain and beyond joy.”

The sculpture was commissioned in 1891 by the historian Henry Adams in honor of his beloved wife Marian “Clover” Hooper Adams. The memorial was inspired by images of Buddha and the art of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel murals.

And there are several more sculptures waiting for you to discover.

Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, a National Park for the Arts, is just off Route 12A in Cornish.

Due to the pandemic, the house and museum buildings are closed (information on a phased re-opening is here.) However, the majestic grounds and its lavish gardens and trails are open year round to explore for free. It’s a beautiful park, and its larger-than-life sculptures, walking paths, gorgeous gardens and rich landscape architecture are all treasures to behold.

At this peaceful sanctuary you will be surrounded by 195 acres of nature and the breathtaking views of Mount Ascutney and the Green Mountains of nearby Vermont. There are no words to express the joy of discovery here, but I will say you will want to bring a picnic lunch, camera, journal, or sketch pad for the inspiration that awaits you.

See the website for more up-to-date information.

Also, be sure to read this feature on the Saint-Gaudens Estate, that was featured in New Hampshire Magazine in 2013.

Discovering art can be a free, fun, family experience. See how great art can inspire you and your children. For the price of a tank of gas, art lovers don’t have to drive far to experience something meaningful.

Categories: NH History and Outdoor Art