Object Image

Samuel Gray Ward

Although the circumstances leading to Saint-Gaudens' modeling of Samuel Gray Ward's likeness are not known, this bas-relief was one of the sculptor's earliest portrait commissions. Ward (1817–1907) was a founder of the Metropolitan Museum and its first treasurer. Over his long lifetime, he cultivated myriad artistic and literary interests while working as a financier. He was an intimate of Ralph Waldo Emerson and his circle, and an enthusiastic patron of the arts, particularly prints. Of the more than eighty reliefs Saint-Gaudens completed, he considered Ward's portrait one of his finest efforts. The sense that the sculptor's clay approaches the immediacy of paint is particularly evident in the...

1881, cast 1908
48.3 x 34.9in
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

Where you'll find this

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Permanent collection