Bronze, cast late 1940s, 5 3/4 x 3 3/4 x 5 1/2 inches (14.6 x 9.5 x 14 cm.) ,
collection of SGNHS

 

 

Sketch Models for African-American Soldiers' Heads,
1883-93

Saint-Gaudens hired African-American men to pose for the Shaw Memorial soldiers. These men were not models, but individuals the sculptor saw on the street, and who had just the look he needed for his figures. Saint-Gaudens modeled about forty different heads in one-third life size, for plaster studies to use while working on the relief. Sixteen of these likenesses appear in the final monument. Six of the soldier heads are in the collection at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site; the rest are unlocated. These six heads were cast in bronze beginning in the late 1940s.