The Saint-Gaudens Memorial was incorporated in 1919 to maintain a living memorial to Augustus Saint-Gaudens on the site of his home and studios in Cornish, New Hampshire. The primary function of the Memorial was to protect and maintain the site (eventually enlarged to 83 acres by the Trustees’ acquisition of several valuable tracts of land) and its collection. The Trustees also undertook to selectively acquire and preserve works of Saint-Gaudens, assist in the education of young artists of promise and present exhibits, concerts, and other events traditional to the site. By 1933, the Trustees had secured a $100,000 endowment from private sources to fund this work.
In 1964, in order to more effectively ensure the maintenance of the Saint-Gaudens estate and allow the Memorial to carry out a wider range of its mandated purposes, the site–including all structures, works of art and furnishings–was donated to the United States for public ownership. In the following year, the U.S. Congress passed legislation establishing the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site. It is the only site in the federal park system devoted to an artist with a collection of the artist’s work and it is a place of extraordinary character and beauty. The National Park Service is charged with the ongoing maintenance and management of the site, which draws over 40,000 visitors each year. The Trustees of the Memorial, in addition to other activities, initiate, sponsor and fund the programs offered at the site for the benefit of the public. Learn more about the Memorial’s current and past initiatives.
In 1998, the Memorial acquired a 48-acre tract of land across Route 12A from the historic site. This parcel, historically known as Blow-Me-Down Farm, was the home of Charles Coatesworth Beaman, the lawyer who originally invited Saint-Gaudens to New Hampshire in 1885. The trustees preserved this property for 12 years and in 2010 transferred ownership to the National Park Service. The Memorial will continue to be a partner in future upgrading of the property and arts programming.
The Saint-Gaudens Memorial remains a private, not-for-profit organization. Although it works in close cooperation with the National Park Service, the Memorial is autonomous in its charter, organization, and decision-making powers. Most of the Memorial’s funding comes from income generated by the Memorial’s endowment. It is supplemented by individual contributions and Friends’ memberships and, from time to time, by limited funds which are generated by a portion of the Memorial’s original endowment (now held in trust by the National Park Foundation) and disbursed to help pay for special projects of the Memorial and National Park Service. Additional funding for special projects is also sought from foundations, corporations, and individuals. Learn about supporting the Saint-Gaudens Memorial by becoming a Friend of the Memorial.