Marshall M. Fredericks Masterpiece Will Be Offered Oct. 28
Leaping Gazelle, a signature work by American sculptor Marshall M. Fredericks (1908-1998), will be offered at auction by Stefek’s on Thursday, October 28, 2021. Cast in bronze with a light green patina, the sculpture is noted for its depictions of freedom, vitality and grace. The piece is mounted on a black marble base.
Gazelles are native to Africa and Asia. In Leaping Gazelle, Fredericks captures the moment a pursued animal girds for a leap to freedom. The beautiful creature has just changed direction to avoid capture by a pursuing predator, perhaps a lion or cheetah. Its head and long horns are held steady by a muscular neck and massive chest. Its strong hind legs stand poised on a rocky outcrop at the very moment the creature will spring skyward.
Leaping Gazelle also commemorates Fredericks’ first paid commission, received for winning a national competition in 1936 to create an original sculpture for the Levi J. Barbour Memorial Fountain, located on the grounds of the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Michigan’s Belle Isle State Park. Among his most beloved designs, the Leaping Gazelle also graces the artist’s final resting place and memorial.
Marshall Fredericks’ sculptures are remarkable for the beauty of their artistic form and integral dynamism. Natural in line and detail, the static sculptures appear animated through the artist’s ability to recreate moments of peak action. The artists’ works are recognized around the world, including the statue and monument he created in 1958, what today we call, “The Spirit of Detroit.”
Leaping Gazelle is 10 and ¼-inches in height; 6 1/4 -inches in length, and 4-inches in depth. The base is 7-inches in height, and 4 1/8-inches in length and 4 1/8-inches in depth. The piece is signed on the formation of rocks, “Marshall M. Fredericks.”