MARSHALL FREDERICKS ONLINE EXHIBITIONS
Have you visited the sculpture of Black Elk: Homage to the Great Spirit in the Museum's sculpture garden? The beautiful 13-foot-tall bronze sculpture of Black Elk depicts the Oglala Lakota Sioux holy man with a bison by his side while he offers his peace pipe from the heart of man to the heart of God. This Marshall Fredericks masterpiece has garnered a lot of interest lately.
When Marshall Fredericks was a young boy his family traveled to areas in the Midwest habited by Lakota Sioux Native Americans. A young Fredericks went to school with Native American children and was infatuated with their culture and philosophies. He learned about their ties to nature and animals. That bond would stay with young Fredericks throughout his life and influence his sculpture.
"Black Elk Speaks", written by John G Neihardt in 1932, was a favorite book of Fredericks, always on his nightstand, and provided much inspiration to him throughout his life. When Neihardt died in 1973 a 44-foot-tall cross memorial was erected in honor of both Neihardt and Black Elk. The memorial, Black Elk/Neihardt Park, The Tower of the Four Winds. Is located in Blair, Nebraska.
In 1978 Marshall Fredericks was asked to create a sculpture of Black Elk to help a fundraising campaign to add a beautiful mosaic to the 44-foot-tall cross monument. About 50 small-scale bronze Black Elk sculptures were sold to help fund the mosaic which was dedicated in 1987.
Marshall Fredericks, at age 89, enlarged the small-scale Black Elk to a 13-foot-tall heroic sculpture that was cast in bronze in 1998. That sculpture now resides at the Museum in the Jo Anne and Donald Petersen Sculpture Garden on a generous loan from the Seligman Family Foundation.
Recently the Catholic Church has visited the Black Elk sculpture at the Museum several times. The church is seeking to canonize Black Elk. Someday we may have a “Saint Black Elk” and the world's largest sculpture of him can only be seen at the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum.
“There can never be peace between nations until there is first known that true peace which is within the souls of men.” Black Elk
By: Geoffe Haney ~ Collections Manager