Analyzing Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Work: The Shaw Memorial
The purpose of this paper that I am writing is to create an in depth and critical analysis on the work of Augustus-Saint-Gaudens-The Shaw Memorial. The name of this sculpture is a tribute to a real patriot. I can’t see a better and more fitting way to pay tribute to Robert Gould Shaw. Shaw is a gives nothing but unquestionable and unrivalled support in the American Civil War and his caring nature towards the black and often looked down upon society makes him a war hero in my eyes. This paper gives insight to what has achieves and thus draw a rational viewpoint on this sculpture “The Shaw Memorial.”
The monarchial rule is a stark reminder of how people rise up when they feel they are oppressed as they felt during the Civil War. Aside from this, the civil war is proving to be a great fight to relinquish slavery. I have a gnawing feeling that they are not afraid to make sacrifices when armed with s Black Slaves ready to lay their lives down for this unknown cause coupled with strategic White leaders who lead the war alongside dedicated volunteers. Such acts are commemorated throughout the States in museums and mausoleums. One such museum is Boston’s Robert Gould Shaw war Memorial. It is been the centre piece of Boston’s civil society. I believe that in Robert Gould, Boston find a true home grown hero. His actions valiantly speaks for itself. He leaves his beautiful new bride and wealthy family for a nation’s cause and dream.
Shaw is a volunteer of the war and defiantly fights for what he believes in and thinks is right. Like a few others, he takes up the responsibility of the 54th Massachusetts voluntary infantry. He leads his troops with honor and dignity as a general always should. Always in the front of his battalion. His brave death comes in similar fashion. He is shot and killed in a steep sand embankment while guarding a Confederate fort. I feel that the sculpture in the memorial couldn’t portray this in a better and fitting way for a man of Shaw’s stature. His battalion is full of Black erstwhile slaves laying down their lives as nothing short of patriotic Americans. One hundred and eighty thousand Black soldiers lay down their lives for a dream of a country in which no one will ever have racist comments regarding them. Robert leads them as he and his battalion are treated to physical vanquish and doom as they are massacred steep sand foot hill.
I feel that Shaw and his men came out on top with the most significant and valiant victory in the history of the USA. What is often touted as daily drudgery is an elixir of communitarian existence and an incessant nation building. This is just but a reflection of trends around the globe in terms of ways of life. In this age in America and across the globe people still fight, sacrifice and leave everything for the question of dignity. The Black soldiers show this better than any other as they care less about pay and do not give it much thought. The White generals also do this by paying minimal to no attention when it comes to the mundane stuff they leave behind. They fight for a cause that they strongly believe in and lay its foundation with their deaths. In this way I cannot imagine death being any sweeter any more respectful and welcome it while being so alive. This even further shows the paradox of man. The ever alive and ever remembered position is subtly achieved through death and sacrifice. These supreme duo only gets further interesting and more tantalizing if and when the bedrock for all this is dignity.
6 Why is this memorial by the fine architect and sculpture Saint-Gaudens so noteworthy? There are as many interpretations as there are critiques and some of these are accepted as standard. The style reflected the then general concepts of art and comprehension. But individuals and societies have changed their interpretations and meant different – and that is why the monument is alive rather than a relic. The sculpture shows one canvas, a unity of a regiment of soldiers, the faces of those Black soldiers on-foot did show no sign of drudgery, anguish, dissatisfaction when they are led by a White general. Their florid countenances show their indomitable and unified spirit and the passion they all shared the dream they all built in a unified manner for the republic, for the people and by the people were obvious. A memorabilia or a national memento of sharing the fear, the determination, the energy and above all Dignity that still inspires Americans in every moment of crisis! The muscled get-ups with very scanty and inadequate attires, clad in the murk of the steep-sand-incline, make the dirt and murk as matters of glory. The human spirit there is embellished by the sweat, the holding straight of the weapons, the straight-back posture and the upright eye-contact. These are the arsenals of the infantry regiment. A crisis in this picture, the impediment and the challenge bows down to the passion and to the spirit is like a symphonic harmony to commemorate the human spirit and signifying the fact that commemoration is regeneration. Commemoration here was meant for re-inspiration, rejuvenation for a job for others. Sweet would be that death, when it is for others – for a cause- for the future.
7 I personally believe that a city is known by its history. The moments it can proudly show to the world. A city basks in its heroes and the sacrifices they have made are its appreciation. The museum with its secluded nature is a representation to Boston residents to face their destinies with grace and gallantry. The 54th Massachusetts infantry is now a synonymous symbol throughout the United States. Robert is a Bostonian who embodies Boston spirit of facing any challenge. I therefore feel that the Robert Gould Shaw embodies the American spirit and that of mankind too.