Mrs. Dorothy (Honey) Arbury studied with Mr. Fredericks when she attended Kingswood School at the Cranbrook Educational Community in Bloomfield Hills in the 1930s and knew him through her uncle Alden Dow, a prominent Midland, Michigan architect with whom Fredericks worked on architectural sculpture projects. Mrs. Arbury was on the founding board of Control of Saginaw Valley College in 1963. She remained active on the board, which later became Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU), and the SVSU Foundation Board into the 1990s. Mrs. Arbury and her husband Ned Arbury and Mr. and Mrs. Fredericks generated the idea of a permanent exhibit of Fredericks' work adjacent to the university's new facility for the art, music and theatre departments. SVSU and the Arburys worked together toward an agreement to have the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum built adjacent to the art department.
The Museum opened to the public in the new Arbury Fine Arts Center in May 1988. About half of the $7.2 million of private money raised for the building went to museum design and construction, restoration, transportation, and installation. The more than 200 mostly plaster models in the permanent exhibit gallery were installed by Mr. Fredericks.
Over the years, private donors have made it possible for more than 20 bronze casts to be made for the Sculpture Garden on the campus of SVSU, and a few indoor works have been donated. Mr. Fredericks gave the balance of the collection in 1994. After his death in 1998, the Museum received the remaining Fredericks' collection that includes tools, equipment, archives, architectural site models, sculptures, and more. The growth of the collection caused the Board of Advisors to change the gallery to museum status in 1999. In October 2003, the $2.5 million Phase II Capital Campaign expansion became a reality, nearly doubling the size of the Museum. The addition includes The Sculptor's Studio, classroom, archives, research reading room, two temporary exhibitions galleries, and a gift shop.
Your donations help:
Donations will be used to provide educational programs and exciting exhibitions to more than 10,000 school children and visitors a year. Your donation allows us to continue conserving a collection of more than 1,500 works of art and artifacts that are in the Marshall M. Fredericks Museum collection. Additionally, contributions provide an important share of the Museum’s operating and exhibition budget.
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