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The exhibition will be on display Jan. 28 - April 5 at the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum at Saginaw Valley State University.

American World's Fairs Exhibit Set For Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Museum

January 28, 2013       Leave a Comment
By: MyBayCity Staff

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An exhibition, Centuries of Progress, American World's Fairs, 1853-1982, opens next week and will be on display Jan. 28 - April 5 at the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum at Saginaw Valley State University.

The exhibition was curated by Teresa R. Snyder, Deputy Director, Hagley Museum and Library, and was organized by the Hagley in Wilmington, DE. The exhibition is traveling nationally under the auspices of Exhibits USA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance.

The Centuries of Progress exhibition celebrates how these international expositions shaped the American experience and world view. Visitors to the fairs were not only exposed to new ideas and innovations, but also experienced art, architecture, design, music, popular culture and entertainment. Of the seventeen fairs hosted by the United States, two featured works by internationally-renowned, traditional figurative sculptor Marshall M. Fredericks (1908-1998). Fredericks' works, along with the other pieces of art on display during the fairs, formed a crucial part of a visitor's fair-going experience.

For the 1939-40 New York World's Fairs, Marshall Fredericks was commissioned to design a fountain for the Glass Industries Building. For its subject matter, Fredericks chose animals, a universally appealing subject, designing a ring of monumental baboon figures, each imparted with its own personality, with a baby baboon sitting in the middle of an 8-foot glass basin.

Fredericks' Freedom of the Human Spirit for the 1964 World's Fair in Flushing Meadows, Corona Park, New York was one of only four sculptures produced in durable materials as permanent additions to the park. Commissioned for the United States Pavilion, the sculpture consists of a male and female figure and three wild swans rising upwards in free flight. Its graceful flowing lines and upward motion transmit Fredericks' optimistic attitude toward life.

It is because of Fredericks's direct connection with both of these World's Fairs that the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum is hosting the Centuries of Progress exhibition during its 2013 exhibition season.

This exhibition will allow the Museum's visitors to further understand the importance and impact of the fairs on our country's history and culture. Likewise, this exhibition will put into context how national events shaped Fredericks' life and work therefore enabling the Museum to fulfill its mission to celebrate the artistic legacy of Marshall M. Fredericks.

Dr. Susan J. Bandes, Professor of Art History, Michigan State University, will give a lecture titled "Gone Today, Here Tomorrow: Rediscovering Art and Architecture from the World's Fairs," Monday, March 18, at 4:00 p.m. at Rhea Miller Recital Hall, Curtiss Hall, SVSU.

The lecture is free and open to the public. This exhibition is possible with grant support from The Jury Foundation, The Kantzler Foundation, and the RUSSELL H. and MAXINE E. SMITH CHARITABLE FOUNDATION.

The Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum is located on the campus of Saginaw Valley State University, 7400 Bay Road. Museum hours are Monday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free of charge.

For more information, call (989) 964-7125 or visit the Museum's website at www.marshallfredericks.org.

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