Marshall Fredericks receives national endowment

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SVSU’s Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum received a substantial grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The NEH, created in 1965, supports research and learning in history, philosophy, and similar subjects and especially helps small institutions with funding and more.

“The humanities help us study our past, understand our present, and prepare our future,” said NEH Chairman William Adams.

The grant, worth $5,935, is one of 78 other grants and similar projects from the NEH that total to $441,537.

“Presently, the Museum uses three donated analog hygrothermographs, which no longer provide accurate reading,” said Museum Archivist Melissa Ford. “With funding from a [NEH] Preservation Assistance grant, MFSM will be able to purchase a high-accuracy temperature and relative humidity data logger.”

The loggers are planned to be in place by June 2018 and will follow specific steps as they are implemented.

Leaders of the project will use five phases for data logger installation: purchasing, collection of data, review of data, preliminary assessment, and preparation and reporting for the loggers. This allows for a smooth installation and makes sure the loggers are used as efficiently as possible.

This is not the first time NEH has helped.

“The Museum received a NEH Preservation Assistance for Smaller Institutions grant in 2010 for the conservation assessment of Marshall Fredericks’ life figure drawings,” Ford said. “This funding enabled the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum to contract with Elizabeth Buschor, senior paper conservator at the Midwest Art Conservation Center (MACC) in Minneapolis, to complete the assessment.”

Those contacts sprung the MFSM into NEH’s spotlight and set the stage for future grants. The NEH is shown to be an extremely beneficial group to the museum, and this relationship is crucial for future benefits from them.

Making sure no opportunity is squandered, SmithGroupJJR Inc., an engineering and planning firm, will aid the museum to create a plan for long-term improvements as well.

“SmithGroupJJR is highly experienced in providing for the specialized needs of museum environments and has extensive knowledge in the application of conservation and preservation science,” Ford said.
All of these new features will add much needed improvements to the museum. Environmental conditions are critical in museums and the MFSM is no exception.

“Improving environmental conditions is extremely critical to the long-term preservation of the Museum’s collections,” Ford said. “The proposed project is important to the humanities and to the study of American sculpture in that no resources of similar scope to the MFSM’s object and archival collections exist in any one single location.”

The museum is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and includes many different attractions pertaining to all kinds of subjects. For more information regarding events going on at the Marshall Fredericks Museum, visit marshallfredericks.org.

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