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Group of Bears map_it

History

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

This bronze sculpture by Paul Manship (1885–1966) depicts a group of three bears on a circular stepped pedestal. Located at the Pat Hoffman Friedman Playground at Fifth Avenue and 79th Street, the piece was a gift from Samuel N. Friedman in memory of his wife, Pat. The piece was cast in 1960 and unveiled on October 11, 1990 at the playground’s dedication.

Smaller versions of the piece are featured on part of the William Church Osborn Gates (1952) and the elaborate Paul J. Rainey Memorial Gates (1933) found at the Bronx Zoo, and in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Manship’s most famous work is the gilded Prometheus (1934), located at the west end of the lower plaza of Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center.

Photo of Group of Bears statue in Central Park

Group of Bears Details

  • Location: Pat Hoffman Friedman Playground, 5th Avenue and 79th Street
  • Sculptor: Paul Howard Manship
  • Architect: Bruce Kelly / David Varnell
  • Description: Group of three on integral, graduated plinth on circular pedestal with five steps; plaque
  • Materials: Group and plaque--bronze; Pedestal--granite
  • Dimensions: Group H: 7'4" W: 6' D: 4'8"; Pedestal H: 1' Diameter: 20'; Plaque H: 1'4" W: 9"; Weight: 1,500 pounds
  • Cast: 1989
  • Dedicated: October 11, 1990
  • Foundry: Paul King Foundry
  • Donor: Samuel N. Friedman
  • Inscription: Signed on base:
    PAUL MANSHIP, SCULPTOR /

    Plaque mounted on pedestal:
    GROUP OF BEARS / PAUL MANSHIP 1885-1966 / ORIGINAL BRONZE CAST 1932 / THIS BRONZE CAST 1989 / A GIFT BY SAMUEL N. FRIEDMAN / IN MEMORY OF HIS BELOVED WIFE / PAT HOFFMAN FRIEDMAN /

Please note, the NAME field includes a primary designation as well as alternate namings often in common or popular usage. The DEDICATED field refers to the most recent dedication, most often, but not necessarily the original dedication date. If the monument did not have a formal dedication, the year listed reflects the date of installation.

For more information, please contact Art & Antiquities at (212) 360-8143

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