About Frederick Hart
Frederick Elliot Hart or Frederick Hart, has been described as America's greatest living representational artist. He has gone completely against the grain of the contemporary art world; substance and beauty are the chief criteria of his work. Renowned for two of the most significant American sculptures in this century ("The Creation" at Washington National Cathedral and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial sculpture), Frederick Hart explored the inner recesses of the human psyche. His later works expanded on "The Creation" theme: the exploration of human movement from darkness to light. Says Frederick Hart, "My work isn't art for art's sake, it's about life. I have no patience with obscure or unintelligible art - I want to be understood." Born in Atlanta, Frederick Hart was a young aspiring artist who applied for a job at the Washington National Cathedral in 1967 to learn the skill of stone cutting. By 1971 he was ready to leave the Cathedral. For the next three years he worked in his own unheated studio, "almost starving to death" as he sketched his ideas for the Cathedral international competition to commission the design for a series of "Creation" sculptures for its main facade. Frederick Hart was inspired by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's writings on science and theology and envisioned a great allegorical work which would evoke the heroic struggle for awakening and consciousness. The selection committee for the Cathedral was impressed with the power and vision of his scale model studies and in 1974 awarded him with the project. Frederick Hart was thirty-one. The Creation Sculptures were completed in 1990, almost twenty years after Hart began work on them. The Creation Sculptures include Ex Nihilo (Out of Nothing), The Creation of Day, The Creation of Night, Adam, St. Peter, and St. Paul. Frederick Hart's next major project was the statue of Three Soldiers which he created for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the nation's capitol. The fighting men portray the veteran's bond of love and sacrifice and mutual devotion as they stare at the wall, almost as if they are searching for their own names. Cast in bronze, this historic sculpture - now one of America's most famous sculptures - was dedicated in November, 1984, at a ceremony attended by President Ronald Reagan and more than 100,000 veterans. In 1985, President Reagan appointed Frederick Hart to a five-year term on the Commission of Fine Arts, a seven-member committee that advises the U.S. Government on matters pertaining to the arts and guides the architectural development of the nation's capital. In 1987 Frederick Hart received the Henry Hering Award from the National Sculpture Society for sculpture in architectural setting, shared with architect Philip Frohman (National Cathedral work). In 1988 he was the recipient of the quadrennial Presidential Design Excellence award (Vietnam Memorial work). In 1993 Frederick Hart received an honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of South Carolina for his 'ability to create art that uplifts the human spirit, his commitment to the ideal that art must renew its moral authority by rededicating itself to life, his skill in creating works that compel attention as they embrace the concerns of mankind, and his contributions to the rich cultural heritage of our nation."