Historic photograph collection of SGNHS

Mary McGuiness Saint-Gaudens, 1867

Born in Ballymahon, County Longford, Ireland, Mary was the daughter of Arthur McGuiness, who worked in a Dublin plaster mill. She and Bernard Saint-Gaudens met in a Dublin shoe factory where they were both employed. Their first two children died in infancy, but their third son, Augustus, survived. In 1848, when he was six months old, they immigrated to New York City. Two other sons, Andrew (1851-1891) and Louis (1853-1913), were born in New York. Mary died in New York City in 1875. This drawing, destroyed in the studio fire of 1904, was done just before Saint-Gaudens first left for Paris. It was described by Saint-Gaudens as "the possession I treasured most in the world."