Throughout the history of mankind, there have been very few artists who could envision a concept and mold it perfectly into a shape that is as breathtaking as the sculptures of Frederick Hart. As a young teen, Hart was already committed to a career in art. It was later, when he was visiting the Washington National Cathedral, that he discovered master stone cutter Roger Morigi at work. He secured a job as a mail clerk at the Cathedral to gain access to Morigi. Eventually he was able to negotiate an apprenticeship for himself. After 5 years, Hart had mastered the art of stone carving. Hart was then to lauch his extraordianry career that wouldl lead to international fame.
FREDERICK HART - A GIFTED AMERICAN ARTIST
One of the most significant achievements in Hart’s lifetime was winning the commission for the design of the façade at the west entrance of the Washington National Cathedral in 1971. His contribution to this national treasure is nothing short of spectacular.
Hart favored working in his garage studio at night. He enjoyed spending his days near Dupont Circle in conversation with locals, watching people as they passed by. It was there that he spotted a beautiful woman who went past his spot every day. Eventually he spoke to her, introducing himself. He asked her to pose for his sculpture and she graciously agreed. As one might imagine, Miss Lindy Lain, this passer-by, later became Mrs. Lindy Hart, a dominant subject in Hart’s sculptures for the rest of his life. Together they had two sons, Frederick Lain Hart (1980- ) and Alexander Thaddeus Hart (1983- ).
RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX WITH HIS FAST FRIEND FREDERICK HART - AT RICK HART'S STUDIO IN THE COUNTRY SIDE OF VIRGINA - CIRCA 1997
While Hart was studying the book of Genesis, for his work at the Washington National Cathedral, Hart had an epiphany. He recognized that his extraordinary artistic ability was a gift from God, and promptly converted to Roman Catholicism. Because his 1978 marriage to Lindy Lain had been a civil ceremony, he chose to have their marriage blessed at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in 1980.
Before he began to work with acrylic, many of Hart’s sculptures were bronze or marble. He experimented with clear acrylic resin for many years before perfecting his patented technique, embedding one clear acrylic sculpture within another, now referred to as “sculpting with light.” It is this innovation that sets Frederick Hart apart.
ACRYLIC SCULPTURE "THE RIDE" BY FREDERICK HART - ONE SUCH SCULPTURE RESIDES IN THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
Because of the exquisite quality of his sculptures, Hart was commissioned to create numerous public monuments. Some of the more famous pieces include:
- Acrylic Cross of the Millennium, presented to Pope John Paul II at the Vatican, Rome.
- Limestone sculpture of The Creation at the Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.
- Bronze statue of Three Soldiers at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
- Statue of Senator Richard Russell in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.
- Bronze bust of Senator Strom Thurmond, in the Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.
- Marble bust of J. Danforth Quayle for the Senate’s Vice Presidential Bust Collection, Washington, D.C.
- Bronze statue of President James Earl Carter in bronze installed at the Georgia State House, Atlanta.
The magnificence of these important works of art earned Hart the coveted National Medal of Arts. On the accompanying proclamation it reads: “For his important body of work—including the Washington National Cathedral's Creation Sculptures and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial's Three Soldiers—which heralded a new age for contemporary public art.” It was signed by President George W. Bush and dated November 17, 2004.
SEEN BY MILLIONS THAT HAVE VISITED THE VIETNAM WALL, IN WASHINGTON, D.C., IS THIS LIFE SIZE BRONZE STATUE OF THE "THREE SOLDIERS" - ACCOMPLISHED BY THE EMINETLY GIFTED FREDERICK HART
Sadly, Frederick Hart’s life came to an abrupt halt in 1999, a mere two days after he was diagnosed with lung cancer. May his memory live on through his magnificent art.
It was to the delight of avid collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx that he was able to befriend Frederick Hart and acquire, from him, several striking artist’s proofs of his favorite sculptures for himself and his wife Hilda. Amyx and Hart visited numerous times at Hart’s Virginia residence or at the Virginia home of Raleigh DeGeer Amyx.
The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection contains an array of priceless works of art as well as many historically significant pieces owned by U.S. presidents, Hollywood giants, sports legends and other important figures. Mr. Amyx welcomes serious discussions with fellow collectors concerning opportunities to buy, sell and trade museum-quality relics.
RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR