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Hugh Glass Bear Battle.

Hugh Glass Bear Battle Sculpture

Field review by the editors.

Lemmon, South Dakota

Scrap metal sculptor John Lopez lives in the small town of Lemmon. Although his art can be seen elsewhere in South Dakota (such as here and here) he had never made a sculpture of his hometown's most famous moment: the battle between frontiersman Hugh Glass and a grizzly bear.

Hugh Glass Bear Battle.

"I'd been toying around with the idea for a while," said John, before the looming release of the film The Revenant gave him the necessary kick in the pants. That was in early 2015. By August, John had the sculpture complete: a half-ton of iron and steel showing the moment when the murderous bear is about to maul Hugh Glass. "I tried to make the bear more powerful, lunging for the kill," said John. "Not like some cheesy Hollywood bear." Glass is bent backward against a spindly tree. Despite his upraised knife it appears that the frenzied bear will win. "It's not looking good," said John.

Surprisingly, Glass survived (as noted at the mauling site monument south of town), which made him a good choice for what eventually became an Oscar-winning performance by Leonardo DiCaprio. The film's director chose to stage the bear battle in a location that looks nothing like the area around Lemmon, but John (and the town) are okay with that. "Artist's choice," said John. "We're thrilled."

Also see: Men Vs. Bears

Hugh Glass Bear Battle Sculpture

Grand River Museum

114 10th St. W., Lemmon, SD
Grand River Museum. Downtown, on the south side of US-12/10th St. W. just west of its intersection with 1st Ave. W. The Hugh Glass sculpture is inside the museum.
May-Sep. M-Sa 9-5:30, Su 12-5 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Petrified Wood Park MuseumPetrified Wood Park Museum, Lemmon, SD - < 1 mi.
Petrified Wood ParkPetrified Wood Park, Lemmon, SD - < 1 mi.
Scrap Metal Bronco BusterScrap Metal Bronco Buster, Lemmon, SD - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Sir Albert and the Dragon, Regent, ND - 39 mi.

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