The Marshall Fredericks Museum at Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) is one of my favorite museums. Considering its size, it is jam packed. Over the years, I’ve visited the museum a handful of times, and I always leave inspired. There is so much to see, and frankly, it is impressive to see the results of such a long and varied career in sculpture. At one time, Grandma B. and I talked about the museum, and she said that she always wanted to visit. Unfortunately, she never took the opportunity. I can’t help but think of her every time I am there.
One of my favorite Marshall Fredericks sculptures is “The Man on the Cross,” which resides at the National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods in Indian River, Michigan. I’ve seen it in person (the full-size mold resides in the art gallery at SVSU, see below), and it is something that one needs to experience in person. I plan to go back at some point. It is gorgeous and moving.
As I left class today (I’m currently finishing my English endorsement at SVSU), I decided to head over the museum. It did not disappoint. Following is a quick overview of different sections of the museum.
The main gallery includes the original molds for many of Marshall Fredericks’ larger works, including “The Man on the Cross” (see photo below), interspersed with smaller models in various mediums. All are on permanent display and make up the core of the museum.
The museum has taken great care to replicate parts of Marshall Fredericks’ studio. It is impressive, and frankly, there is something about this part of the museum that fascinates me. You get to understand how he created such large sculptures and the work involved, including tools and studies. It actually inspired me to write a post on Scrivener and the idea of a writer’s studio, which can be found here.
The Sculpture Garden
It is just a beautiful outdoor space with all kinds of bronze sculptures inspired by Marshall Fredericks’ work. You can find other images of the sculpture garden here.
A visit to the museum is certainly worth it. In addition to the sections described above, there are also a couple of smaller galleries in the museum that hold rotating exhibitions. You can find more information on the museum’s website.