Tuesday, May 22, 2012

“......life long quest to bring people together, to achieve understanding.”

Image of the maquette for the monument to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Mr. Hayden

Sculptor - Frank Hayden    

Frank Hayden (1934-1988) shared these words during the unveiling of his ten-foot tall sculpture honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in August 1976. Hayden’s abstract egg shape with arms and hands revealed was met with mixed reactions. It was reported that many in attendance expected a life-size statue of Dr. King. Hayden explained “the shape represents life and growth, and the arms and hands are reaching out for brotherhood.” Inside the egg form are passages from Dr. King's speeches, and there is a bullet hole to commemorate Dr. King's assassination.

Bob Spring remembers several visits to meet with Frank at his studio, and working closely with him on a number of important monuments. "We would receive the plaster models at the foundry and make the negative molds and waxes. 
Frank would come to New York and retouch and approve the waxes. We would review the installation blueprints and confirm the details, to get things right the way Frank wanted them.” Bob remembers a memorial we cast remembering the shooting of two Southern University students that occurred in 1972, and recalls that right away Frank wanted to make a memorial. He created a few  sketches and a maquette and asked Mr. Spring to review and provide an estimate. Due to various delays, the memorial was not dedicated until 1979. Although this was a tragic event Frank created a symbolic, inspirational work titled "Lift Every Voice" to not only memorialize and honor but to encourage the idea of hope too.

In 1985 Frank Hayden became Southern University’s first distinguished professor. He had been at the Baton Rouge, Louisiana University’s art department since 1961 following his 1957 graduation from Xavier University in New Orleans, and a master in fine art degree from Notre Dame University where he studied with Ivan Mestrovic. Frank also traveled to Munich, Germany on a Fulbright Fellowship and attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, Denmark

"It was incredibly difficult to receive the news of Frank's death. We had shared a number of working experiences and became friends too. I will never forget his hospitality during my visits to New Orleans and taking me to the Latin Quarter for the first time, where I had a huge platter of crawfish. His mentally ill son tragically shot him at the age of 52. I cannot help but believe we had many more years of working together and he had so much more to offer all of us. He was always a modest man but I can tell you that to know him, you would simply be inspired," says Mr. Spring.

-Excerpt from an extensive recorded conversation of Mr. Bob Spring and Patricia Bradshaw, 2012

-Written and edited by Jeffrey Spring

Please contact the Modern Art Foundry office with inquires about contracted services of Mr. Spring. He is available for consultations and lectures.