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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, Gallery 179


Arts of the Americas


Augustus Saint-Gaudens


Bust from the Adams Memorial


United States (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

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


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Extended information about this artwork

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