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Belmont acquires multi-million dollar Frederick Hart art collection

Belmont announced the acquisition of over 250 works by acclaimed sculptor Frederick Hart at a ceremony on Wednesday.

The multi-million dollar collection includes completed sculptures, molds, plasters, sculpting tools and works that were not able to be completed before Hart’s death in 1999.

It was donated by the Frederick Hart Foundation, the artist’s wife Lindy Lain Hart and patrons Lee and Pam Kennedy, according to a press release from Belmont.

These works will be showcased in the Frederick Hart Collection, a permanent museum in the soon-to-be renovated Bunch Library, set to open in May. The renovation will also include new spaces for students.

“Additional student gathering space will be created which will support one of the Bunch Library team’s strategic priorities: Create a welcome and secure space for study, research and collaboration in an environment that fosters intellectual freedom and the open exchange of ideas,” said university President Dr. Robert Fisher in an email to students and faculty.

To accommodate the new renovations, offices currently located in the library will be moved to various points on campus to make them more easily accessible for students and faculty.

This will not be the first Hart sculpture on campus. Barbara Massey Rogers donated the two-story high “Ex Nihilo, Working Model” to Belmont in 2002, which is on permanent display outside the chapel in the Janet Ayers Academic Center.

Belmont also showcased a number of Hart’s sculptures in a temporary exhibit in 2004.

Hart, who is a National Medal of Arts recipient, has also crafted numerous recognizable works, including the Creation Sculptures on display at the Washington National Cathedral and the “Three Soldiers” at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

“We began this semester with an announcement of a new Performing Arts Center, and we’re concluding with this wonderful gift and news of a campus renovation students have long desired,” Fisher said. “What a wonderful fall!”

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Photo courtesy of Belmont Office of Communications

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