Cover Art Description:
Although fearsome in reputation, the bearís image in American culture has been oddly dualistic. Nearly every child in this country has at one time cuddled with a teddy bear, and travelers to the national forests are constantly reminded by a stern-faced but friendly bear "that only you can prevent forest fires!" In contrast Lewis and Clarkís journals speak of bears shot full of lead that continued pursing their tormentors. More recently, attacks on humans in the national parks have generated sensational stories focusing on the horrific experience of being mauled to death or eaten alive by a slavering grizzly. Ironically, the first such publicized attack in 1942 came at a time when scientists and national park officials were beginning to warn visitors that bears were dangerous and should not be fed. The challenge, though, was to break twenty years of rangers actually feeding wild bears by hand to entertain tourists.
Frank Tenney Johnsonís "Grizzly Bear in Winter Forest" (1913, oil on canvas, 30" x 20"), reproduced on the front cover courtesy University of Cincinnati Fine Arts, gift of U. S. Printing and Lithograph Company, provides a dark brooding image of the totemic majesty and unpredictability of the grizzly. Johnson (1874-1939), an Iowan by birth, moved to Colorado in 1904 where he developed a talent for drawing and painting the Old West. He illustrated Zane Grey books as well as sporting magazines. He moved to California in 1920 and established his own studio. His nighttime scenes are a particular hallmark of a career cut short by spinal meningitis.
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