“Ahead, near the Great Lawn, I could see bears converging from several directions. Far too many to count. On a bandstand raised near the leaping light of a bonfire, a band of a dozen bears played drums, fiddles, and flutes in a jig that reverberated through the park. Around the fire a hundred or more bears danced with legs crossing forward and back and arms outstretched to clasp one another’s shoulders. . . . I squeezed between a couple of bears, tossed my arms over their shoulders, and let the frenzy of the dance move my limbs.” – from A Floating Life by Tad Crawford (Chapter 15)
“The Bear Dance” oil painting is actually on display a few steps away from Central Park – it’s part of the collection of works by William Holbrook Beard owned by the New York Historical Society. Link: http://www.nyhistory.org/node/43788 The Society also owns Beard’s famed painting “The Bulls and Bears in the Market” which is set on Broad Street with the New York Stock Exchange in the background.