Documenting the American South

Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes banner
  • Monument Name

    “Old Bruno” Bear Sculpture, New Bern

  • Type


  • Subjects

    Local History


  • Creator

    Boyd, Cedric M., Sculptor

    Coward, Heber, Sculptor

  • City

    New Bern

  • County


  • Description

    “Old Bruno” depicts a black bear walking on all fours installed on a round concrete base. The bear and base are made of concrete. The bear is almost four feet tall and eight feet long with the base being three feet high. The bear was reported to weigh 700 pounds. It originally had a metal tongue painted red which was ripped off by vandals and not replaced. Remnants of the tongue are still present.

  • Custodian

    Craven County School System

  • Dedication Date

    August 7, 1957

  • Decade


  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.098860 , -77.115500 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      Ellis, Edward Barnes. New Bern History 101, (McBryde Publishing, 2009), 31 Link

      “Old Bruno, (sculpture),” IAS NC000403, Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museum, SIRIS,, (accessed November 30, 2015) Link

  • Public Site


  • Materials & Techniques

    Concrete over wire mesh

  • Sponsors

    Commissioned by New Bern City Board of Aldermen

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    No formal dedication is noted. The bear adorned a 50+ feet long float in Morehead City’s 100th anniversary parade on August 7, 1957. The float also carried three or four local beauty queens and won two prizes in the parade competition. After the parade the New Bern Board of Aldermen voted to give the bear to the local high school.

  • Nickname

    “Old Bruno”

  • Subject Notes

    The sculpture was commissioned by New Bern as their contribution to centennial celebrations held for Morehead City in 1957. The bear was chosen because it was the city of New Bern’s symbol.

  • Location

    “Old Bruno” is located at New Bern High School, 4200 Academic Drive, New Bern

  • Relocated


  • Former Locations

    The bear was moved to its current location in 1991 when the current high school was built. The former location is now the Grover C. Fields Middle School.

Icon for reporting missing/incorrect information Know anything else about this monument that isn't mentioned here? If you have additional information on this or any other monument in our collection fill out the form at the Contact Us link in the footer. Thank you.