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Edward Kemeys
Bear
before 1907
bronze
11 1/4 x 12 1/4 x 7 5/8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of J. Willis Johnson



From his snout to his paws, this black bear epitomizes Kemeys's goal of creating an enduring record of North American animals “before they shall have utterly disppeared."”The sculpture's scale suggests that the bear is young rather than full grown, while the animal's stance—as if he has paused momentarily—enhances the sense of an empathetic, direct encounter.