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6 Facts About 'The Three Soldiers' Sculptor Frederick Hart

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By    |   Friday, 03 Jul 2015 12:52 PM

Frederick Hart’s most visited piece of work is his “The Three Soldiers” bronze sculpture at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Nonetheless, the Atlanta native has made many prominent pieces displayed in the nation’s capital. His works today sell for thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, but more importantly, Hart hoped his art would serve a greater purpose.

“I believe that art has a moral responsibility, that it must pursue something higher than itself,” Hart said, according to Jean Stephen Galleries. “Art must be a part of life.”

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Find out more about this famous artist with these facts.

1. In the original design competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Frederick Hart placed third.
Yale University 21-year-old undergraduate Maya Lin’s design was selected to be built and is today known as “the Wall.” Hart was commissioned for the sculpture when controversy over Lin’s plan grew, and a more patriotic memento was requested to be added to the landscape, according to The New York Times.

2. Hart gained international stature for “The Creation Sculptures.”
These are located on the west side of the Washington National Cathedral and include “Ex Nihilo” (Out of Nothing), “Creation of Day,” and “Creation of Night,” according to his website. Three figures of “St. Peter,” “St. Paul,” and “Adam” are also carved into limestone there.

3. His work is featured in the Capitol building.
Hart sculpted a marble statue of Senator Richard Russell for the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building, a bronze bust of Senator Strom Thurmond in the Strom Thurmond Room, and a marble bust of J. Danforth Quayle found in the Senate’s Vice Presidential Bust Collection.

4. Hart patented the process of embedding a clear acrylic sculpture within another.
Most famously, his “The Cross of the Millennium” was made with this manner and given to Pope Jon Paul II in the Vatican. Hart also pioneered the use of acrylic resin in creating cast figurative sculptures, a process he called “sculpting with light,” Jean Stephen Galleries noted.

5. Hart died in 1999.
At the age of 56, Hart died Aug. 13, 1999, because of lung cancer, according to The Times.

5. Hart received the National Medal of Arts.
This award is the highest given to artists and art patrons by the U.S. government. President George W. Bush signed the proclamation in 2004, placing Hart among the ranks of the most distinguished American artists of the twentieth century.

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Frederick Hart's most visited piece of work is his "The Three Soldiers" bronze sculpture at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
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2015-52-03
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