Happy birthday, Marshall Fredericks!

Happy birthday to Danish-American sculptor Marshall Fredericks, born on January 31, 1908!

Marshall Fredericks’ works are a vital part of the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park story. A friend and favorite sculptor of Fred Meijer and the first artist that he collected in earnest, an initial gift of 36 works by Fredericks from Fred and Lena helped launch Meijer Gardens in 1995. Fredericks’ work is well represented in our permanent collection, with his stylized figurative work patinated a trademark aqua green.

As you walk around Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, you’ll notice Fredericks work at nearly every turn. Some of our favorites are shown below:

Boy and Bear

The Boy and the Bear

Leaping Gazelle Fountain

Leaping Gazelle Fountain (Rabbit, Hawk, Grouse, Otter)

Bear and Cub

Two Bears

Friendly Dragons

Friendly Dragons

Victory Eagle

Victory Eagle

To Michiganders, perhaps his most famous work is a piece that he never named himself, but has become known as The Spirit of Detroit.  He said that he “…tried to express the spirit of man through the deity and the family.”


Spirit of Detroit

Spirit in studio

Marshall Fredericks in his studio

Fredericks and Spirit

Fredericks with the completed The Spirit of Detroit

Only after it was installed in 1958 did it became known as The Spirit of Detroit. Not only did Fredericks waive his creative fee for this sculpture, but it cost him money to produce. He believed this was merely part of his civic responsibility.


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