The Spirit of Detroit

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The Spirit of Detroit
The Spirit of Detroit.JPG
Artist Marshall Fredericks
Year 1958
Type Bronze
Dimensions 790 cm (312 in)
Location Detroit, Michigan, United States
Coordinates Coordinates: 42°19′45.47″N 83°2′40.66″W / 42.3292972°N 83.0446278°W / 42.3292972; -83.0446278
Owner Coleman A. Young Municipal Center

The Spirit of Detroit is a city monument with a large bronze statue created by Marshall Fredericks and located at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center on Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Michigan, in the United States.

It was commissioned in 1955 for a cost of $58,000 (equivalent to $1.29 million in 2016[1]), and dedicated in 1958. In its left hand, the large seated figure holds a gilt bronze sphere emanating rays to symbolize God. The people in the figure's right hand are a family group. The 26-foot (7.9 m) sculpture was the largest cast bronze statue since the Renaissance when it was first installed. It was cast in Oslo, Norway.[2][3]

The statue underwent a restoration in 2006, funded by foundations and other private donations.

In 2013, art dealer and art historian Eric Ian Hornak Spoutz was quoted in The Detroit News stating that the value of the statue is in excess of $1,000,000.[4][5]

Name[edit]

The Spirit of Detroit prior to its restoration

The name emerged from an inscription from 2 Corinthians (3:17) on the wall behind it:

NOW THE LORD IS THAT SPIRIT

AND WHERE THE SPIRIT OF THE
LORD IS, THERE IS LIBERTY."
II CORINTHIANS 3:17[3]

It includes the seals of the city and the county. A plaque in front of the sculpture bears the inscription, "The artist expresses the concept that God, through the spirit of man is manifested in the family, the noblest human relationship."

Uses as a community symbol[edit]

The statue wearing a Detroit Red Wings sweater during the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs
  • The statue is frequently dressed in sports jerseys when local professional teams are in the playoffs. It was also once dressed in a tuxedo during a visit by the Three Tenors. For the first time since 1997, the statue did not wear a Detroit Red Wings sweater during their Stanley Cup Finals victory in 2008 due to the ongoing restoration. Instead, a large statue of a Tiger at Comerica Park was dressed with a jersey.
  • In the past, a local wit had painted green (the color of the statue) footprints heading out from the statue and leading to Giacomo Manzù's naked Passo di Danza (Step of the Dance) bronze sculpture nearby.[6]
  • As one of Detroit's most easily identifiable landmarks, a sketch of the statue appears as the central element of most of the logos of Detroit's city departments and services.
  • An image of the statue appears on the "Spirit of Detroit Award" certificate.[7] This is issued by the Detroit City Council to a person, event or organization being honored for an outstanding achievement or service to the citizens of Detroit.
  • The Spirit of Detroit is the main image on Detroit Community Scrip.
  • The Spirit of Detroit is featured in the 2011 Chrysler 200 Super Bowl commercial, which featured Eminem along with widely known landmarks of Detroit.
  • The Spirit of Detroit is used as Detroit City Football Club's crest. Detroit City FC is a soccer team formed in 2012 that plays in the National Premier Soccer League.

References[edit]

  1. ^ United States nominal Gross Domestic Product per capita figures follow the Measuring Worth series supplied in Johnston, Louis; Williamson, Samuel H. (2017). "What Was the U.S. GDP Then?". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved July 28, 2017.  These are the figures as of 2016.
  2. ^ Baulch, Vivian M. (August 4, 1998). "Marshall Fredericks: The Spirit of Detroit". Michigan History. The Detroit News. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Smithsonian American Art Museum (1993). "The Spirit of Detroit (Sculpture)". Art Inventories Catalog. Smithsonian Institution. Control Number 87840002. Retrieved November 17, 2011. 
  4. ^ Hodges, Michael (October 24, 2013). "Could Cash-Strapped Detroit's Other Assets Be Sold?". The Detroit News. Retrieved October 25, 2013. 
  5. ^ But see, Johnson, Alex (February 13, 2016). "Art Dealer Eric Spoutz Charged with Selling Dozens of Fakes of American Masters". NBC News. Retrieved February 17, 2017. 
    Cascone, Sarah (February 8, 2016). "Art and Law: Did Art Dealer Eric Spoutz Give Forgeries to the Smithsonian?". ArtNet.com. Retrieved February 17, 2017. Spoutz allegedly conducted fraudulent transactions on dozens of artworks. 
  6. ^ "Spirit of Detroit in Detroit, MI". AOL City Guide. Retrieved April 8, 2008. 
  7. ^ http://www.ci.detroit.mi.us/legislative/CommonGraphics/Spirit_Big.jpg

External links[edit]

Media related to Monuments and memorials in Detroit at Wikimedia Commons