Cathedral of St. John the Divine Blog

A Summer of Sculpture - Ursus REBECCA MERRILL AUGUST 3, 2017

Ursus, Dan Ostermiller’s 8 foot tall bronze bear, was a natural choice to live in front of the Cathedral’s Great Bronze Doors because of the bear’s oversized scale and larger than life personality.

Ursus bear statue in front of Cathedral bronze doors

The son of taxidermists, Ostermiller’s art focuses on the grace and character of animals. From a drinking elephant to a crowing rooster to a nursing pig, the Colorado based artist combines his knowledge of anatomy with his study of animals in the wild in order to inject all his sculptures with heart.

Ursus’s coy eyes and modest body language invites visitors to come closer, say hello, and even take a selfie or two. You can visit Ursus and all of the other wonderful animal sculptures in the National Sculpture Society’s A Blessing of Animals exhibit in the Cathedral through September 10.


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