Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Charles F. McKim

Artist:
Augustus Saint-Gaudens (American, Dublin 1848–1907 Cornish, New Hampshire)
Date:
1878
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
7 3/8 x 4 7/8 in. (18.7 x 12.4 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Charles D. Norton, 1924
Accession Number:
24.20
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 764
McKim (1847-1909) sat for his portrait in Paris in 1878, a year before the formation of McKim, Mead & White, which became the most influential architectural firm of America’s Gilded Age. McKim and Saint-Gaudens met in 1875, brought together by "a devouring love for ice cream," and remained close professional colleagues for three decades. Here McKim’s features are truthfully rendered in profile, with a receding hairline, prominent jaw, and serious mien. The foliate scroll at the top and the group of acanthus leaves at the lower right refer to McKim’s passion for the classical as his architectural touchstone. The affectionate inscriptions in filleted bands at top and bottom celebrate "my friend Mac [sic] Kim" and the "jolly days" they spent together with Stanford White in the south of France.
Inscription: [top]: MY • FRIEND • CHARLES • F • MACKIM / ARCHITECT •; [bottom] AVGVSTVS SAINT-GAVDENS FECIT / • PARIS • AVGVST • M • D • C • C • C • LXXVIII-- / --IN • SOVVENIR • OF • THE • TEN • JOLLY • DAYS • / I • PASSED • WITH • YOV • AND • THE • ILLUSTRIOVS STANFORD • WHITE • IN • THE • SOVTH • OF • FRANCE
Mrs. Charles D. (Katherine McKim Garrison) Norton, niece of the sitter, until 1924
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