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