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An Artist-dedicated Playground With No Art


Augustus Saint Gaudens is known as the premier sculptor of the Gilded Age. Probably his most popular piece is the sparkly gilded statue of William Tecumseh Sherman that glitters in gold in front of the Plaza Hotel and not far from Central Park. He was also a huge supporter of arts education, and helped form Society of American Artists (1876) and the National Sculpture Society (1893) which helped to professionalize the field of art in New York after a prolific career in Rome and Paris. What’s weird, is this playground dedicated to him. No where on the site is a piece by Saint Gaudens, nor a picture of a piece, or even any reference to his style at all other than the placard when entering the playground. In fact, I really don’t understand what this playground has to do with Saint Gaudens at all. The Park Department site says that bronze and porcelain decorations pay tribute to the artist, but I was unable to find them before feeling creepy by hulking around a playground.

Saint Gauden's Sculpture near Central Park

Saint Gauden’s Sculpture near Central Park


I guess it’s pretty cool that a playground is dedicated to an artist who died in 1907, so I’ll consider it a win for art nerdery.

So distinguished

So distinguished

Who: Augustus Saint Gaudens

What: Augustus St. Gaudens Playground

Where: 20th Street and 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

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