Frederick Hart, American (1943 - 1999)

Frederick Hart

Frederick Elliott Hart (June 7, 1943 in Atlanta, Georgia - August 13, 1999 in Baltimore, Maryland) was an American sculptor, best known for his public monuments and works of art in bronze, marble, and clear acrylic (a technique he coined as "sculpting with light").

A sculptor and stonecutter in the classical style, Frederick Hart was an apprentice at the National Cathedral in Washington DC and learned there about sculpting and stonecutting. Then his big break came when he won a competition to design the facade of the Cathedral, which incorporated his thirteen year masterpiece of the Creation, a 21 X 15 foot bas relief. He also designed "Three Soldiers," realistic in style, for the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial to contrast with the abstraction of Maya Lin's work.

Born in Atlanta, Georgia and raised in South Carolina, he was an opponent of most contemporary art, thinking it motivated by political rather than aesthetic reasons. As a proponent of realism, he was made an honorary member of The American Society of Classical Realism Guild of Artists.

Just before his premature death from lung cancer in 1999, he built his 17,000 square-foot dream home "Chesley," on 250 acres of land in Virginia. This mansion was intended to be an artists' retreat to nourish traditional, classical values and refute modernist trends that he said allowed anything to be called art.

He endured several legal battles including the use of his "Three Soldiers" on a souvenir without his permission and a lawsuit with Time-Warner over the "demonizing" of his creation scene.

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