Deco Dance: Leaping Gazelle by Marshall Fredericks
December 28, 2012
One of Michigan’s most renowned artists was Marshall Fredericks. He’s well known for the Spirit of Detroit sculpture, but this artist who spent much of his life in Michigan created many public works. Wikipedia’s entry for Marshall Fredericks has this to say about Leaping Gazelle:
This sculpture was the first commissioned work for which Marshall Fredericks was paid. In 1936, the sculpture won first prize in a national competition, and as a result, Fredericks became well known as a public sculptor. Since the gazelle is not native to Michigan, Fredericks made four animals that are, and placed them around the gazelle on Belle Isle. These animals are the otter, grouse, hawk and rabbit. Fredericks sculpted the gazelle in a characteristic movement called wheeling, which is when an animal quickly changes direction while being pursued by a predator.
The Leaping Gazelle is one of the most duplicated of Fredericks’s sculptures.
This particular sculpture is located near the entrance of the Detroit Zoo, one of many Fredericks sculptures on the Detroit Zoo grounds.
Also, I’ve been meaning to post a really cool exhibit that’s currently at the Dennos Museum in Traverse City titled Sketches to Sculptures, Rendered Reality: Sixty Years with Marshall M. Fredericks:
An exhibition of 31 small sculptures and 36 related drawings and sketches that showcases the creative process of Fredericks both as designer and sculptor. From simple pencil sketches to presentation drawings, the creative mind of Fredericks is on display as he transforms two-dimensional ideas on paper into three-dimensional sculptures. While many of the drawings in this exhibition resemble the final sculpture they would become, others only hint at elements of their outcome or point to a different outcome entirely. This exhibition is comprised of four genres that represent most of Fredericks’ work: architectural, commemorative, spiritual and whimsical. The exhibition was organized from the collections of the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum at Saginaw Valley State University.
It includes some very cool maquettes – small, scale models of the finished Fredericks sculptures that are really amazing!
More sculpture on Michigan in Pictures.