In 1997, Dick and Val Beck made their first of many trips to Churchill, Manitoba, to photograph polar bears in their natural habitat.
The sculpture Churchill is based on one of those photographs. Commissioned in 2003, the life-size bronze was created by Wyoming artist Margery Torrey.
On Aug. 20 the sculpture was unveiled in a brief ceremony and is now a permanent part of the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s Sculpture Trail.
“We had always planned that Churchill would one day be a part of our legacy gift to the museum,” Dick Beck said. “We decided to accelerate the timing for that to happen so that we could enjoy knowing that community members and visitors enjoy him too.”
Masks are required inside the museum, but the Sculpture Trail winds at a leisured pace around the grounds, affording visitors an open-air, self-guided opportunity to enjoy the work of many renowned wildlife artists. Torrey’s Churchill makes a wondering and elegant addition.