FREMIET, Emmanuel

Paris 1824 - Paris 1910

Maker: Leblanc-Barbedienne

Dénicheur d'oursons

Bear Crushing a Stone Age Man (The Bear Cub Thief)

1885, cast 1899-1900



Dimensions (HxWxD): H. 7' 11"

inscribed: Leblanc-Barbedienne

Acc. No.: 1960-3-1

Credit Line: Gift of Martha B. Rankin 1960-3-1

Photo credit: Krannert Art Museum

© Artist:


  • 1898, Paris, bronzes commissioned by Mr. Ben T. Cable, a friend of Fremiet
  • c. 1916-c. 1925, New York: he placed them on loan at the Museum of Natural History in New York
  • c. 1925, Mr. Cable died, the statues were inherited by his son, Mr. Philander Cable
  • 1925-1936, Chicago: they were sent to Chicago and loaned to the sculptor Lorado Taft (1860-1936), who admired them very much; they were placed on either side of the entrance to the studio of Lorado Taft on the Midway
  • [1937], Urbana: after Lorado Taft's death, the contents of his studio (including the Fremiets statues) were sold to the University of Illinois in Urbana by his widow (the Fremiet statues were still property of Philander Cable)
  • 1937-1955, Urbana
  • 1955-date?, Monticello: statues located in Monticello, Illinois, Robert Allerton House and Park
  • 1959, Gift of Mrs. Martha B. Rankin, widow of Philander Cable, to the University of Illinois
  • 1977, Kranner Art Museum becomes the official owner
  • 1980, the statues toured the United States as part of the blockbuster exhibition The Romantics to Rodin, organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • 1988, despite their national recognition as masterpieces, the bronzes were not displayed at Krannert Art Museum until eight years later
  • 1989, following controversy, they returned to Allerton Park
  • 1989-2006, Monticello, Allerton Park
  • 2006, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., included them in the exhibition Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris
  • 2006-2016, Krannert Art Museum exhibits the bronzes until funds are raised for their permanent installation at Allerton Park
  • 2016, September, The two sculptures are installed at Allerton Park, Monticello, IL., a park belonging to the University of Illinois; they are no longer part of the Krannert Art Museum's collection


  • 1988 Chevillot
    Catherine Chevillot, Emmanuel Fremiet 1824-1910, La main et le multiple, Dijon, 1988, Catalogue raisonné, p. 102, S 144 (Dénicheur d'oursons, modèle en plâtre, premier bronze grandeur nature)
  • 1995 Scheinman
    Muriel Scheinman, A Guide to Art at the University of Illinois; Urbana-Champaign, Robert Allerton Park, and Chicago, Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1995, pp. 137

Related works

  • Plaster model commissioned by the State in 1884, exhibited at the Salon of 1885, sent to the Musée de Lille in 1890, non located.
    (First) life-size bronze cast in 1886, Paris, Jardin des plantes, allée Brongniart.


  • Wikipedia,émiet_Sculptures (accessed Septmber 25, 2017):
    Two bronze sculptures by the French artist Emmanuel Frémiet (1824-1910) were returned to Allerton Park in September 2016. The sculptures are not original Allerton pieces, but were donated to the University of Illinois in 1959 and subsequently placed along the park trails. They were loaned out for a traveling exhibition in 1980, moved from the park to the Krannert Art Museum in 1988, and finally placed in storage until new settings were created in the park.
    Popularly called Gorilla Carrying off a Woman and Bear and Man of the Stone Age (Denicheur d′Oursons), they depict violent encounters between animals and Stone Age people. Subject to controversy since they were created in 1885 and 1887 because of the violent subject matter, they are, however, immensely popular with park visitors who enjoy being surprised by finding them in the woods along the Orange Trail.