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The Teddy Bear Project

PDF The teddy bear is thought to have originated in 1902, when a cartoon of President Theodore Roosevelt refusing to shoot a baby bear appeared in "The Washington Post," Since then, it has become the familiar stuffed toy of every child, a collectible object, and a container of historical, emotional, and sentimental information. Over a period of many years, the Canadian art collector Ydessa Hendeles has bought, via Internet auction, photos in which teddy bears are featured: snapshots, studio and group portraits, and photos of events and sports contests. Often the teddy bear is only marginally visible; nevertheless, through them, these two luxurious volumes show—on more than 1500 typologically organized pages, most of them in color—a fascinating visual story of 20th-century life. "The Teddy Bear Project" offers an amusing, often thought-provoking cultural history of photography, in which the parallel course of idyllic and civil life is just as present as are atrocity, war, persecution, and expulsion.

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