History of the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum
Mrs. Dorothy (Honey) Arbury studied with Marshall Fredericks when she attended Kingswood School at the Cranbrook Educational Community in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, in the 1930s and later reconnected through her uncle, Alden B. Dow, a prominent architect in Midland, Michigan, with whom Fredericks worked on architectural sculpture projects. In 1963, Mrs. Arbury was on the founding Board of Control of Saginaw Valley College, which later became Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU). She remained active on that board and with the SVSU Foundation for more than three decades. She and her husband, Ned , and became friends with Marshall and his wife, Rosalind, and together they formed the idea of a permanent exhibit of Fredericks’ work adjacent to the university’s then-new facility dedicated to the arts.
The gallery opened to the public in the Arbury Fine Arts Center in May 1988. Fredericks himself oversaw installation of the more than 200 mostly plaster models in the permanent exhibit gallery. Through the years, private donors have made it possible for more than a dozen bronze casts to be made for the Sculpture Garden. Fredericks gave the balance of the collection in 1994After his death in 1998, the gallery received his remaining tools, equipment, architectural site models, sculptures and personal and business papers which formed the basis of an important archives for scholarly use at the Museum. With the growth of the collection and an expanded outreach plan, the Board of Advisors elevated the gallery to museum status in 1999.
In October 2003, a $2.5 million Phase II Capital Campaign expansion nearly doubled the museum’s size, adding the Sculptor’s Studio, a classroom, archives vault, research reading room, two temporary exhibition galleries, and a gift shop. In 2013 the Museum was granted Accreditation by the America Alliance of Museums, an important distinction which acknowledges its implementation of the highest industry standards and achievement of significant impact.