Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Eight Caryatid Figures, 1906-07
Holding the distinction of being the oldest sculptural works on the campus of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s Eight Caryatid Figures were commissioned by John J. Albright and were unveiled to the community on June 5, 1934 when then mayor George Zimmerman accepted the sculptures on behalf of the city of Buffalo. This work is important in the career of Saint-Gaudens because it was his last commission as an artist before his death.
Positioned on the two porches of the Delaware Avenue side of the building, these draped figures represent Victory and the arts of painting, music, sculpture, and architecture. Each figure carries something symbolic of their name, such as a lyre or a palette and brushes.
Since their arrival in 1934, the figures have only been removed once for conservation in the late fall of 1994. The porches were reconstructed during this period and were ready to support the placement of the works in the spring of 1995, where they have remained to this day.
Photograph by Tom Loonan.