Everybody had a bear story to tell in California in the 19th Century. While grizzlies are now sadly gone from our State, the stories survive in many forms. These tales make a composite portrait of the bears who once thrived and made their living here and also of the humans who gave them no quarter. The rugged individualist of the West and the beloved symbol of our State, the California grizzly still has tales to tell.
Susan Snyder grew up in the valleys and foothills along California’s Highway 99. She worked as a teacher, illustrator and Japanese language interpreter before working at UC Berkeley’s special collections Bancroft Library for many years. An omnivorous reader and researcher, she is the author of Bear in Mind: The California Grizzly (on which the exhibition is based); Past Tents: The Way We Camped; and Beyond Words: Two Hundred Years of Illustrated Diaries, all inspired by and culled from the wonderful collections of the library and published in Berkeley by Heyday. She lives in Point Richmond.