“Sketch of Grizzly” Storer, Tracy I. (Tracy Irwin). 1889-1973.
Tracy Irwin Storer (1889-1973) completed his education in the San Francisco Bay Area. He attended high schools in Oakland and entered the University of California at Berkeley in 1908. Majoring in zoology, he received his B.S. degree in 1912, the M.S. in 1913, and the Ph.D. in 1921. In 1923 he joined the faculty of the University of California, Davis as Assistant Professor of Zoology and Assistant Zoologist in the Experiment Station and was the department’s sole faculty member until expansion began in 1935. He is the author of the definitive tome, California Grizzly.
In 1969, UC named the new zoology building on the Davis campus after him. The above sketch is of Monarch
, the last of the California Grizzlies.
(c) Diane T Sands 2012 gouache on illustration board
In her recent book, State of Change: Forgotten landscapes of California (2010), Laura Cunningham looks at the grizzly bear Ursus arctos and the habitat it roamed. She recreates East Bay landscapes in paintings and juxtaposes them against modern photographs. It is an amazing look at a species extirpated from the state, yet represented on the flag.
For myself, I wanted to create and illustration that shows something about Ursus arctos that cannot be shown with a photograph. Always fascinated by bones and their articulation I decided to superimpose the skeleton of a brown bear over the more recognizable furry bulk.