Civic Art

Portable Trojan Bear

Portable Trojan Bear

  • Location: Between Miller Outdoor Theatre and the Hermann Park Golf Course
  • Portable Trojan Bear, by Jim Love, 1974
  • Wolmanized pine and steel; 91”tall x 61” wide x 131.25” long
  • Commissioned by the Cultural Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Commerce for the City of Houston; Donated by Cameron Iron Works

Portable Trojan Bear was the artist's first public commission. It was originally installed at the corner of Montrose and Bissonnet, now the present location of the MFAH's sculpture garden. It was installed at its current location in 1984 at Hermann Park, Golf Course Drive, 77030, between the Zoo and Miller Outdoor Theater.

Jim Love (Amarillo, TX, 1927 - 2005, Houston) is represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, The Menil Collection, and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. A retrospective, Jim Love: From Now On, was organized by Senior Curator Lynn Herbert at the Contemporary Art Museum Houston in 2006.

Portable Trojan Bear Repair

Week of February 2, 2009 -- Jim Love's iconic sculpture Portable Trojan Bear has returned to its native habitat under a canopy of trees behind the Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park. The beloved sculpture, transported to a Houston conservator's studio for conservation treatment in November 2008, was returned to the Park this week.

Conservation treatment included replacing the original soft wood slats with a hardwood naturally resistant to pests and mold. The new material has a reddish cast that will eventually age to gray. The bear's steel skeleton was also treated to extend the life of this beloved sculpture.

Portable Trojan Bear was Jim Love's first public commission. Installed in 1974 at the corner of Montrose and Bissonnet, the Bear moved to Hermann Park in 1984. Portable Trojan Bear was previously restored in 1999 through funds provided by the Herman Family in memory of Carl J. Herman.