Collection Item of the Month


Frank Hayden (1934 – 1988)

A Sequence of Life, 1975

Carved Honduran mahogany

Loaned by Hancock Bank, L5.2002  



Frank Hayden (1934–1988) is one of Louisiana’s preeminent sculptors. He attended Xavier University in New Orleans and later studied under noted Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović (1883–1962) at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. After returning to Louisiana, Hayden devoted twenty-seven years to teaching art at Southern University in Baton Rouge.

Hayden’s sculptures, made of wood, plaster, fiberglass, or stone, reflect deep spiritual and humanistic concerns. Although primarily figurative, his sculptural forms are stylized and often abstracted, their surfaces sometimes inscribed with words. For many years this monumental sculpture was in the lobby of a local bank. Titled A Sequence of Life, it consists of seven elements, recalling the seven days of the week, the seven days of creation, and the seven phases of human life.  From left to right:

The first figures depict a meeting or beginning.
The second grouping represents family life.
The third figure, standing within an arch, suggests building and growth.
The fourth composition symbolizes recreation and the outdoors.
The fifth figure, symbolizing knowledge, appears to be deep in study.
The sixth composition suggests aid and community concern.
The final motif of closely united partners represents love and retirement.