Kenyon College

Stanley Matthews and his Wife Mary


Augustus Saint-Gaudens
(American, 1848-1907)

Stanley Matthews and his Wife, Mary, c. 1904
32 1/2 x 48 inches.
Kenyon College Collection; Gift of Elizabeth Matthews.

On Public View: Kenyon College, Ransom Hall, Norton Room

A native of Cincinnati, Stanley Matthews graduated from Kenyon in 1840, after which he studied law and gained admission to the bar. He became a fervent opponent of slavery, taking a position as an assistant editor of the Cincinnati Daily Herald, the city’s first anti-slavery daily newspaper. Matthews went on to become a judge, an Ohio state senator, and a U.S. attorney before joining the Union Army as a lieutenant colonel. In 1863, he mustered out as a colonel to become a judge in the Superior Court of Cincinnati. Appointed to the U.S. Senate in 1877 following the resignation of John Sherman, Matthews went on to win an appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1881, serving as an associate justice of the nations’ highest judicial body until his death in 1889.

In this marble relief by Augustus Saint-Gaudins, Matthews is shown with his wife, Mary. Saint-Gaudins, an Irish-born American, rose to fame in the years following the Civil War, when he created some of the most stirring monuments to those who fought in the national conflict. His most noted work is the Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth Regiment in Boston Common, which has been called “a symphony in bronze.” A bronze version of the Matthews portrait completed in 1904, is in the collection of the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Text from the Kenyon College Publication “Treasures of the Norton Room”