Josephine Shaw Lowell

Augustus Saint-Gaudens American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774

While working on the monument to General William Tecumseh Sherman (1892-1903; Grand Army Plaza, New York) in Paris between 1897 and 1900, Saint-Gaudens executed several independent portrait commissions including a bas-relief of Josephine Shaw Lowell (1843-1905). Lowell was the older sister of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and founder of New York’s Charity Organization Society (now the Community Service Society). The resulting portrait depicts the middle-aged Lowell with a hint of a double chin, her hair gathered and twisted at the back. Her delicate lace fichu, with its undulating ruffles, is particularly fluently rendered. To her left, Saint-Gaudens included his customary monogram cipher. The portrait was translated to marble in 1901 by Saint-Gaudens’s sister-in-law, Annetta Johnson St. Gaudens (who used a variant spelling of the family name). Upon its completion, Lowell expressed her satisfaction for "making her look so well."

Josephine Shaw Lowell, Augustus Saint-Gaudens (American, Dublin 1848–1907 Cornish, New Hampshire), Marble, American

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