Bernard's shop drew some of New York's most prosperous and influential citizens. Augustus' brothers, Andrew (1851-1891) and Louis (1853-1913), were born in New York. Augustus was educated in the New York school system until the age of thirteen, when he left school to learn a trade. Displaying artistic ability, Augustus was apprenticed to a cameo cutter. During the next six years, he cut cameos by day, and took night classes in art at the Cooper Union School and the National Academy of Design. In 1867, he went to Paris and enrolled at the cole des Beaux-Arts, where he studied eagerly until 1870, and the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War.

Bernard Saint-Gaudens' 4th Avenue shop,
center; National Academy of Design, left

Saint-Gaudens, age 13, at the cameo lathe