Frederick Hart (1943-1999) was a twentieth-century American master sculptor and stonecutter who championed realistic representation of the human form. His works reflected classical art traditions, though he worked in new materials made possible by modern technology.In 1975 Hart won a coveted competition to design an ensemble of sculptures depicting the Creation on the west façade of Washington National Cathedral. His thirteen-year masterpiece, entitled “Ex-Nihilo” or “Out of Nothing,” features human figures emerging out of chaos, representing the process of evolving into one’s future. This unfolding, intertwining swirl of human and divine forces is arguably the most important religious sculpture of the twentieth century.
Hart would later patent a process of using clear acrylic resin to create cast figurative sculptures. This process involved embedding one acrylic sculpture within another. One of his major works in this medium entitled “The Cross of the Millennium” was presented to Pope John Paul II in a private ceremony at the Vatican in Rome. Hart died in 1999, just two days after being diagnosed with lung cancer.