The sculptor David Hayes died at home on April 9, 2013, of leukemia. He was 82.
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Hayes is regarded as one of America's great contemporary sculptors and leaves behind a half-century of work, much of it housed in museums across the country. Born in 1931, David Hayes studied at the University of Notre Dame and continued on to Indiana University, where he studied with David Smith. After service in the Navy, he married Julia Moriarty in 1957 and moved to France in 1961 to pursue advanced studies and begin raising a family. There, he met and discussed their reciprocal work with, among others, the artists Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, and Alberto Giacometti. He has been exhibiting continuously since 1955 and has had several hundred museum shows. His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the National Museum of American Art, locally at the Wadsworth Atheneum and the New Britain Museum of Art, plus some 100 major collections around the country. A show of his hanging sculpture is now on display at the Lutz Children's Museum in Manchester. He is also showing at Goodwin College and the Art Museum at the University of Kentucky and exhibited these past 12 months in Annapolis, Md., Peoria, Ill., Garrison, N.Y., Westfield, Mass., White Plains, N.Y., and Huntsville, Ala. This summer his work will be shown at the University of Notre Dame's Snite Museum; other upcoming exhibits include the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art in Altoona and the Housatonic Museum of Art.
David Hayes leaves behind his wife of 55 years, Julia; his four children, David (Julie), Brian (Aveline), Mary (Kevin), and John, his longtime curator; his granddaughter, Alexandra Hayes; his sister, Cathy Toomey (Tom); and brother, Richard (Marie); brother-in-law, Maurice (Ellen); sister-in-law, Connie; and numerous nieces and nephews of several generations. He was predeceased by his brother Martin.
Among numerous recognitions, he received a post-doctoral Fulbright award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is a recipient of the Logan Prize for Sculpture and an award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters. He has served as a trustee for the Hartford Art School, where he subsequently served as regent. In 2007, he was conferred an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Albertus Magnus College.
His family will receive relatives and friends on Monday, April 15, 2013, between 6 and 8 p.m. at Potter Funeral Home, 456 Jackson St. (Route 195), Willimantic.
His funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, April 16, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel, 46 N. Eagleville Road, Storrs. Interment will then follow in St. Mary Cemetery, Coventry.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are suggested to WAIM (Windham Area Interfaith Ministry), P.O. Box 221, Willimantic, CT 06226.
For an online memorial guestbook please visit
Potter Funeral Home
456 Jackson Street Willimantic, CT 06226
Published in Journal Inquirer from Apr. 11 to Apr. 15, 2013