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Bust from the Adams Memorial

A work made of bronze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of bronze.


Modeled 1892–93, cast 1912


Augustus Saint-Gaudens
American, born Ireland, 1848–1907

About this artwork

This bust comes from the upper portion of Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s 1886–91 full-figure tomb monument for Marian Hooper Adams, the wife of historian and philosopher Henry Adams, in Washington’s Rock Creek Cemetery. Because Marian’s death was a suicide and the couple was fascinated by Asian cultures, Henry asked Saint-Gaudens to avoid Christian symbolism and instead evoke the “contemplative compassion derived from Buddhist philosophy.” When Chicago architect Daniel Burnham visited Saint-Gaudens in 1892, he saw a plaster cast of the figure’s head and was enthralled by its mysterious yet meditative quality. In 1893, perhaps in celebration of Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition, Saint-Gaudens gave the bust to Burnham, who later had four bronzes cast from it.

On View

Arts of the Americas, Gallery 179


Augustus Saint-Gaudens


Bust from the Adams Memorial


United States


Modeled 1892–1893




51.4 × 30.5 × 26.7 (20 1/4 × 12 × 10 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Bequest of Brooks McCormick

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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