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 Paul St. Gaudens  (1900 - 1954)

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Lived/Active: Vermont/New Hampshire/Florida/Ohio      Known for: pottery, ceramics

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Flint, Ohio, Paul St. Gaudens was a potter and ceramist, who studied at the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the British Academy, and in Paris at the Julian Academy and the Grande Chaumiere.

He was also a student of Alexander Archipenko and Frank Applegate and was a member of the Cornish Colony in New Hampshire.  There he was a potter at the Orchard Kilns, gave lectures on Arts and Crafts, and contributed to Craft Horizon Magazine.

Biography from Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site:
Paul Alexander St. Gaudens (June 15, 1900 - February 1, 1954) ceramic artist.  Paul St. Gaudens was born in Flint, Ohio, the son of the sculptors Louis St. Gaudens (1854-1913) and Annetta Johnson St. Gaudens (1869-1943) and nephew of the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907).  In 1902 his family moved to Cornish, New Hampshire, where his parents assisted in the studio of Augustus Saint-Gaudens.  They lived in a converted Shaker house, built on the hillside above the Connecticut River in the New Hampshire town that was the site of the Cornish Colony of artists who gathered around the studio of Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

Paul St. Gaudens was first introduced to ceramics in the summer of 1918 at the Plainfield, New Hampshire studio of the artists William and Marguerite Zorach.  The ceramic artist Frank Applegate was a visitor at the farm rented for the summer by the Zorachs, and Paul experimented with them in the production of pottery.

From that beginning, he studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School in 1919-21, and in 1921 at the School of Industrial Arts in Trenton, New Jersey (working there with his friend Frank Applegate).  In 1922 Paul visited Europe, and studied briefly at the Academie Julian in Paris, and at the British Academy in Rome.

In 1923, Paul was in Candler North Carolina, working with the ceramic artist Oscar Bachelder.  He later studied for one summer with Charles Fergus Binns at the School of Ceramics in Alfred, New York (now SUNY, Alfred).

Paul St. Gaudens maintained a studio in his childhood home in Cornish, New Hampshire, as well as in Coconut Grove, Florida at the Pelican Pottery.  He married Margaret Parry in 1936, and together they operated the potteries in New Hampshire and Florida.

Paul St. Gaudens is known for his interest in Mayan design, and he was likely the first artist of his time to work directly from the archaeological discoveries in Mexico. Beginning in the 1920s, his work in this area not only introduced the Mayan imagery to a wide audience, but he also attempted to ressurect some of the ancient Mexican techniques of pottery as well.

Paul St. Gaudens was an instructor in ceramics at the Chappell School in Denver from 1927-1929.  Here he worked with the Director, Arnold Ronnebeck, a German Expressionist artist of the circle of Alfred Stieglitz, but also rejoined his friend Frank Applegate at the Chappell School branch in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Here St. Gaudens worked in a style reminiscent of the ancient Pueblo design.

Paul St. Gaudens was a Master Craftsman of the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts, and a member of the New York Society of Craftsmen, and the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen.  He exhibited with the Society of Independent Artists, at the 1939 World's Fair in New York, and at galleries and museums around the country.  In the 1920s and early 1930s he worked with Alexander Archipenko in Woodstock, New York.

St. Gaudens' health was always weak, and he died in 1954 of Hodgkins Disease.  He is buried at the Chase Cemetery, in Cornish, New Hampshire.

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Cornish Colony

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