Bear in Mind: The Story of the California Grizzly

San José, CA – May 7, 2013 — Does a bear walk through the woods? We don’t know, but the California Grizzly will be touring through History San José beginning in May.

Opening to the public on Sunday, May 25 at the Leonard & David McKay Gallery at the Pasetta House in History Park, the touring exhibition Bear in Mind: The Story of the California Grizzly brings ecology and history together.

“It is this type of historic exhibit that makes the History San José partnerships so significant,” said Alida Bray, President and CEO of History San José. “Grizzly bears, nature, science, art and photography — all of these monumental stories are what evolves the Santa Clara Valley into today’s Silicon Valley.”

Over the centuries, the relationship that Californians have had with the grizzly bear is one of dualities -– expressed in fear and fascination. Although now extinct in the state, the grizzly has long been a central character in California’s history. Illuminating the story of the grizzly bear, this exhibition will run at History Park through December, 2013.

Scientists estimate that 10,000 grizzlies once lived in California, perhaps the densest population of brown bears on the continent. However, through increased human settlement, loss of habitat, and hunting, by the early 1900s the California grizzly had vanished and could only be seen on the state flag.

It is through exhibits and artifacts, some from the collection of History San José, that Bear in Mind provides an in-depth look at the history and science of one of California’s most revered and feared animals.

The exhibition is produced and toured by Exhibit Envoy and was developed in concert with The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley and Heyday Books, and supported by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation with additional funds from the Bank of the West.

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