Marble, 7 feet 9 inches (2.36 m.) high,
including pedestal, private collection

Hiawatha, 1872-74


Saint-Gaudens' first life-size sculpture, created in Rome, was the Iroquois chief Hiawatha as a youth. Hiawatha became celebrated through Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, "The Song of Hiawatha" (1855). Saint-Gaudens' Hiawatha was not a commissioned piece; because no one had funded the work, the sculptor could not afford to cast or to carve his clay model. Montgomery Gibbs, one of Saint-Gaudens' early patrons, saw the clay model and provided money to have it cast in plaster. After 1874, the former governor of New York, Edwin D. Morgan, commissioned a marble version. Morgan would later be influential in the award of the commission for the Farragut Monument to Saint-Gaudens.