The sculptor of Tadeusz Kościuszko’s bust for the Capitol was also born in Lithuania, then part of Russian Poland. Henry Dmochowski appended Saunders to his name upon his arrival in America about 1853. A successful portrait sculptor, he spent almost a decade in this country.
The Joint Committee on the Library acquired the marble bust of General Kościuszko in 1857 for $500. The artist wrote Captain Montgomery C. Meigs, superintendent of the Capitol extension, that his bust of Kościuszko had been “modelled and executed in American marble by myself after the best known authorities, engravings, medals, medallions, etc., in my possession. As the General was not a handsome man, and his virtue, courage and goodness were the prominent characteristics of his physiognomy; it was a task of no common difficulty to make his likeness, and at the same time an attractive object of art.”
In the previous year, Saunders had exhibited his bust of Kościuszko at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia; between 1853 and 1857, Saunders showed some 67 busts, medallions, and bas-reliefs of prominent Americans and Europeans at the academy. His works also were exhibited during that period by the Washington Art Association in Washington, D.C. In 1863, following the death of his wife, Saunders returned to Poland, where he died fighting for the liberation of his country. A marble bust of Revolutionary War hero Casimir Pulaski by Saunders was acquired by Congress in 1882, nearly two decades after the artist’s death.