"Menagerie: The Art of Animals" is an exhibition true to its name. The Forest Lawn Museum along with guest co-curator and artist William Stout have assembled a collection of art that depicts animal subjects, including bronze and paper sculpture, animation art and paleoart, produced by more than two dozen artists spanning more than two centuries. Paintings by Los Angeles Zoo resident Rosie the Orangutan and insect wrangler Steven R. Kutcher are a fun contribution to the exhibition, adding a new dimension to the term Animal Art with their depictions and observations.
Charles Marion Russell (1864 – 1926), famous for painting and sculpting in the American West genre, is represented in the exhibition by three small bronze sculptures — a wolf, a pig and a bison. Though diminutive, 1.5 inches to 7.5 inches, his pieces are significant for their lifelike characteristics and motion. Likely working from firsthand observation of his subjects, the artist frees creatures from bronze, giving the appearance of natural movement, not posed, in pursuit of activities in the animal world. Russell's well-recognized interpretation of Lewis and Clark Meeting the Flathead Indians hangs in the Capitol building in Helena, Mont. Many other bronze sculptors from various time periods and continents are represented in the exhibition including Peter Brooke, Antoine Louis Barye and Sirio Tofanari.