Henry Coffin Nevins Monument

January 12, 2013

The Henry Coffin Nevins monument was sculpted by Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907) in 1893.  It commemorates Henry Coffin Nevins (1843-1892), a successful real estate developer.  Following Nevins’ death, his wife commissioned architect Stanford White and sculptor Augusts Saint-Gaudens to create a monument for their lot at Mount Auburn.  The result of this commission was a monument that is more architectural than sculptural, saying much for the artist-architect collaboration between Saint-Gaudens and Stanford White.

The monument itself is simple and elegant.  It is a  limestone ledger stone with a bas-relief of palm fronds, on top of which rests an alto-relief cross.  At the head of the stone is a perpendicular carving of two cherubs holding garlands, who flank a central roundel that contains the inscription “UNTIL THE DAY BREAK AND THE SHADOWS FLEE AWAY.”

This monument is particularly significant as its sculptor, Saint-Gaudens, was one of America’s preeminent sculptors of the late 19th century and is widely recognized as the most talented sculptor of the “American Renaissance.”  Saint- Gaudens was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1848 and moved to America the same year.  He is best known for the Farragut Monument in Central Park, the Sherman Monument in Grand Army Plaza, and the Shaw Memorial on the Boston Common.

The Nevins monument is located at Lot 4659 at the junction of Eagle Avenue & Jonquil Path.

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