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 Frank Hayden  (1934 - 1988)

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Lived/Active: Louisiana/Tennessee      Known for: religious-theme sculpture, mosaics, art educator

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Bust of a Woman
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Frank Hayden (1934-1988)

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, he overcame a speech impediment to pursue secondary education at St. Augustine High School in Memphis.  He received a scholarship to Xavier University in New Orleans, earned a B.A. in fine arts, with a minor in German, and won ten scholarships to different graduate schools.  Hayden chose Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana, to study under Ivan Mestrovic and earned an M.F.A. in sculpture.  In 1959, he received a Fulbright Scholarship - and later, additional fellowships - for art study with renowned twentieth-century European instructors and masters.

Hayden moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana in September, 1961 and was on the faculty at Southern University from that time until his death in 1988.  He was named Southern's first Distinguished Professor in 1986 and in 1987, he received an honorary doctorate from Madonna College in Livonia, MI. Hayden died in January 1988, the result of a tragic incident in which he was shot by his son.

About his art, Hayden said, "My art does not recognize a hierarchy of ideas and materials.  It simply saturates existence into a significant form.  That form has been achieved through long and difficult reflection or drawn from the possibilities and concerns of the moment.  In either case, the prospect of beauty is constant and is all that is needed to guide my hand and heart."

Hayden's major public works are displayed throughout Baton Rouge in churches, on the campuses of Louisiana State University and Southern University, and at Galvez and Riverfront downtown plazas.  Hayden presented one of his most prestigious commissions, a small bronze entitled St. Martin de Porres, to Pope John Paul II on behalf of United States African-American Roman Catholics to commemorate the pontiff's 1987 visit to New Orleans and the 25th anniversary of the saint's canonization.  One of Hayden's last works was a white alabaster sculpture, The Prodigal Son.

Sources include:
East Baton Rouge Library

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