Museum hosts Giving Tuesday fundraiser to restore sculpture

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The Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum held a fundraiser on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 27, and raised about $1,300 to restore “Youth in the Hands of God Searching for Knowledge.”

The sculpture is an aluminum relief sculpture made by Marshall Fredericks in 1956. It was originally created for a Dallas, Texas, library, but when the library moved to another building, SVSU purchased the sculpture and brought it to campus in May 1993.

The relief sculpture, 16 feet in height, features a young boy, arms uplifted, looking up to the sky towards his lifted right arm. He holds a book in his left hand and stands on the palms of God.

Geoffe Haney, the museum collection manager, explained that aluminum is less durable than other metals.

“It’s not bronze, which is a more rigid metal,” Haney said. “Some areas are cracked around the boy’s knees and ankles.”

The sculpture has been in need of repair for ve or six years. After cleaning and waxing all of Marshall Fredericks’ outdoor sculptures, Giorgio Gikas of Venus Bronze Works advised the museum to take immediate action to make these repairs, and the museum has made this particular work their top priority.

The original goal of the fundraiser on Giving Tuesday was to raise $5,000, though Marilyn Wheaton, the museum director, explained that the overall cost of restoration will be more expensive.

“Total cost will be approximately $25,000,” Wheaton said. “Additionally, I am submitting a grant request to a local foundation for up to $15,000.”

Wheaton also explained the involved restorative process that requires the relief to be momentarily removed from the position it has held since 1993.

“Wolverine Stone, a company that has done work for Marshall Fredericks in the past and for the museum over 25 years, will remove the relief from the museum facade and take it to a location where Giorgio Gikas of Venus Bronze Works will spend two or three weeks restoring the piece,” Wheaton said. “Once restored, Wolverine Stone will reinstall the relief on the facade.”

For more information, to donate, to sponsor or to become a member, visit marshallfredericks.org.

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