Two Sisters (Mother and Child) [Plaster]

Dublin Core


Two Sisters (Mother and Child) [Plaster]


Figure sculpture, American--20th century


Two Sisters (Mother and Child), 1942
Plaster original

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Marshall M. Fredericks

This is the full-scale model for the figures in the Two Sisters Fountain, located in a courtyard of Kingswood School, Cranbrook Educational Community, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. A smaller, maquette of this sculpture is also on display in the Main Exhibit Gallery. Fredericks enlarged the maquette to life size and cast this full-scale plaster original before leaving Cranbrook for military service in 1942. The figures were not cast in bronze until 1965 when Robert Grindley decided that the composition would be an appropriate memorial for his wife. His two daughters attended Kingswood School, thus the fountain was named TWO SISTERS.


Fredericks, Marshall M., 1908-1998




Use of this image requires permission from the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum




University Center (Mich.)

Sculpture Item Type Metadata

Physical Dimensions

60" x 25" x 17"


Plaster Full-scale

Catalog Number


Object Location

Main Exhibit Gallery


1987 July 1, Gift to Museum and SVSU Board of Control


From Jennifer Lentz (Collection Documentation Intern 1991-1992)

Memo dated September 11, 1991:

"RE: Mother and Child - Two Sisters

On the list that Mrs. Fredericks created titled: Principal Works of Marshall M. Fredericks, it lists several different Mother and Childs as well as Two Sisters. I asked Mr. Fredericks if these are different sculptures or just variations with different names. He said the first one listed as Mother and Child, 1930, plaster 12" high, destroyed, no longer exists. They showed me a photograph of it. The mother figure has both arms raised to the sides and she is wearing some sort of loose garment like a cape. The next one listed Mother and Child, 1931, porcelain, 12" high, destroyed, no longer exists either. They showed me a photo of it also. The mother is seated and leans backward and the child reclines in her lap. I asked him about the name of our maquette and the full-size plaster. He said he originally named the maquette Mother and Child. The name Two Sisters was not used until 1965 when Robert Grindley comissioned it as a memorial for his wife to be placed at Kingswood in a fountain. His two daughters attended Kingswood School. Mr. Fredericks said we should title it Mother and Child also called Two Sisters. (However the bronze cast in the MFSG Garden is labeled Two Sisters.) The earliest date we have for the composition that survives today is from 1937 for a gilt bronze on at Cranbrook. There is also one from at least May 1939 when it was pictured in Pencil Points magazine in an alternate design for a fountain basin. In these two early versions as well as our maquette dated to 1942 the younger figure has the cap-like hair style. Not until 1965 does she appear with braids. 1937 is also the date for Eve which is listed as being a study for Two Sisters/Mother and Child on the list of works. 1965 is the first time the name Two Sisters was used."

From Jennifer Lentz (Collection Documentation Intern 1991-1992)
Memo dated September 5, 1991 (Excerpt)

"RE: Works at Cranbrook Academy of Art Museum:
Two Sisters/Mother and Child
Childhood Friends
Torso of a Dancer
Persephone (Bacchante)

Today I met with David Rau at the Cranbrook Academy of Art Museum. He showed me two works by Fredericks in storage. One was labeled Two Sisters and dated 1938-39. Our records from Cranbrook (?) indicate this piece is from 1937 and it is titled Mother and Child. It is about two feet high (I did not measure it) and is fire gilt bronze. The figures are similar to the figures in the maquette in Pencil Points magazine from May 1939. The younger child has the cap-like hair style. I will have to compare them to tell if the figures are exactly the same. In any case these figures are closer to the figures in our maquette than to the figures in the actual fountain and to the full-scale plaster of the two figures in the gallery."

MF, Sculptor copy:
In 1940-42 Fredericks executed one of the most graceful and winning of his early works, the Two Sisters fountain, which was cast and erected, after the interruption of World War II, in 1964 in a courtyard of Kingswood School for Girls at Cranbrook. The evolution of his style gave to these human figures also the clarity of silhouette, the clean, firm forms, and the stylized detail required for a piece in sunlight.

Molly Barth copy:
The next piece is entitled "Mother and Child" or "The Sisters." This is the plaster model that was used for the bronze casting that's at Kingswood, the girl's school at Cranbrook, in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. We also have a bronze casting that was donated to Saginaw and is outside in the Sculpture Garden. Mr. Fredericks originally did this in 1941, and he hoped that this would be at Cranbrook, and World War II broke out, and that kind of put everything on hold. He came back, but it still did not materialize, then a gentleman came into his studio, and saw this, and he was looking for a memorial for his wife, and it just so happened that his two daughters had gone to Kingswood, so he thought this would be just the perfect piece, so it was dedicated in 1965, and it's there in the courtyard there at Cranbrook, at Kingswood.




Fredericks, Marshall M., 1908-1998, “Two Sisters (Mother and Child) [Plaster],” Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum, accessed May 26, 2024,