Art: Bronze Mirrors

Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Henry Adams remarked, "was a child of Benvenuto Cellini, smothered in an American cradle." Saint-Gaudens certainly lacked Cellini's proud fire; in his prime he was a jovial, auburn-bearded member of 15 clubs—a frock-coated good fellow of the sort that two world wars have made as nearly extinct as the buffalo—who roared out popular ballads while he worked, and finished the day with dinner at Delmonico's. And unlike the supremely articulate Florentine, Saint-Gaudens simply could not talk about art; he was afraid, he explained, that he would say "some damphool thing."

But last week, on the 100th anniversary of the sculptor's...

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