Augustus Saint-Gaudens, American (born Ireland), 1848 - 1907
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The celebrated sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens created Diana as a weathervane for the second Madison Square Garden building in New York City, designed by his equally renowned friend and frequent collaborator, the architect Stanford White. Saint-Gaudens's graceful rendering of the Roman goddess of the hunt makes reference to classical sculpture, but her athletic fitness and elongated proportions are strikingly modern. The figure was originally gilded and fitted with a billowing drapery to catch the wind. On her 300-foot-high tower, Diana became the highest point in the city and was the area's first statue to be lit at night by electricity. Diana remained a New York landmark until the structure was torn down in 1925 and the sculpture acquired by this Museum.
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