Sketch for "The Friendly Dragon"

Dublin Core


Sketch for "The Friendly Dragon"


Dragons in art.
Drawing, American--20th century.
Figure drawing.
Fredericks, Marshall M., 1908-1998


Graphite on tracing paper
8.5" x 11"

“I did … a dragon; I called it The Friendly Dragon. The architect said he didn't think he would use it because he said the children would be frightened of a dragon. But children love dragons and it's not an ugly dragon, it's a friendly dragon with a big smile and it's cozy and you can sit on its back on those humps on its back. It's just that he never was a child, I guess, so he doesn't know. So they put up a thing, a structural beam thing. I've never seen a child near it so maybe they didn't get the audience that they wanted really. I think maybe I'll do that Dragon. I like dragons anyway, they're special.” (Marshall Fredericks, from a 1981 interview with Joy Colby, The Detroit News art critic.)

Throughout his long career, Fredericks often returned to his joyful and whimsical work that involved animals. “The Friendly Dragon, cast twice in 1991, as a pair for the Meijer Gardens, Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a child’s magical dream. Like a Maurice Sendak illustration (popular author of Where the Wild Things Are), Fredericks’ dragon presents a danger that has become approachable, a wild animal that has become as friendly as a pet.” (Marshall M. Fredericks, Sculptor, p. 14).

Sketch may also be an early concept for the sculpture outside the Holden Museum of Living Reptiles at the Detroit Zoological Institute.


Fredericks, Marshall M., 1908-1998


Marshall M. Fredericks Papers
Series II, Box 1 Folder 22


c. 1960


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






Graphite drawing



Drawing Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Graphite drawing

Physical Dimensions

8.5" x 11"




Fredericks, Marshall M., 1908-1998, “Sketch for "The Friendly Dragon",” Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum, accessed May 23, 2024,

Item Relations

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