Two Bears, commissioned by the Friends of the Sterling Heights Public Library in 1981, is a 6-foot bronze sculpture of a mother bear and a cub by Marshall Fredericks originally cast in 1964.
Marshall M. Fredericks (1908-1998) is known figurative sculpture, public memorials, exuberant fountains, and whimsical sculptures of animals.
Marshall M. Fredericks was born of Scandinavian heritage in Rock Island, Illinois on January 31, 1908. His family moved to Florida for a short time and then settled in Cleveland, Ohio, where he grew up. He graduated from the Cleveland School of Art in 1930 and journeyed abroad on a fellowship to study with Carl Milles (1875-1955) in Sweden. After some months, he studied in other academies and private studios in Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, and traveled extensively in Europe and North Africa.
In 1932, he was invited by Carl Milles to join the staff of Cranbrook Academy of Art and Cranbrook and Kingswood Schools in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, teaching there until he enlisted in the armed forces in 1942. In 1945, Fredericks was honorably discharged from the Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel.
After World War II, the sculptor worked continuously on his numerous commissions for fountains, memorials, free-standing sculptures, reliefs, and portraits in bronze and other materials. Many of his works have spiritual intensity, lighthearted humor and a warm and gentile spirit like that found in Fredericks himself.
Fredericks was the recipient of many American and foreign awards and decorations for his artistic and humanitarian achievements. He served as Royal Danish Consul for Michigan from 1965 to 1995 and worked in his Royal Oak and Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, studios until just days before his death in 1998.
The Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum at Saginaw Valley State University houses a collection of more than 200 works spanning the length of his career.