Meštrović, who was born on 15 August 1883 in the village of Vrpolje, Croatia, is renowned as possibly the greatest sculptor of religious subject matter since the Renaissance, and the first living person to have a one man show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Meštrović had studied in Split and Vienna before moving to Paris in 1908 where he gained his international reputation for his amazing sculptures.
In 1946, Syracuse University offered him a professorship, and he moved to the United States. He was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Gold Medal for sculpture in 1953. President Dwight D. Eisenhower personally presided over the 1954 ceremony granting Meštrović American citizenship. He went on to become a professor at the University of Notre Dame in 1955. Meštrović died in early 1962 at the age of 79, in South Bend, Indiana at St. Joseph Hospital.