One of the most prolific sculptors of the twentieth century, Marshall Fredericks (1908-1998), is recognized for his large-scale figures, public monuments and fountains in more than 150 locations in the USA and other countries including Denmark, England, Finland, Japan, Norway and Sweden.
The Spirit of Detroit
Located outside of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center at the start of Woodward Avenue, Detroit, this 7.9 m tall bronze cast was commissioned in 1955 and revealed in 1958. This iconic urban design has become a symbol of the people of Detroit and their determination to prevail.
On the wall, behind the sculpture is an inscription from the Bible which speaks of human spirit and freedom:
“Now the Lord is that spirit. And where that spirit of the Lord is, There is liberty.”
In the left hand of the figure is a sphere projecting rays of light, a symbol of God. In his right hand, he holds a family group-mother, father, and child, described in the plaque as the “noblest human relationship”.
The Spirit of Detroit is sometimes comforted by a jersey, belonging to one of the Detroit teams such the Redwings (NHL hockey), Lions (NFL Football), Pistons (NBA basketball) or Tigers (MLB baseball) when they are in winning ways. This composite of individual photos was assembled following a visit to Detroit in April 2016.