This plaster cast of a bear, painted a copper color, was made as an occupational therapy project by Erminio Belletinio, while he recovered at Fort Snelling. Belletinio was a member of the United States Army 30th Division, 115th Field Artillery. His division served in several battles in France.
The hospital on Fort Snelling grounds was designated the U.S. General Hospital #29 and treated veterans returning home from Europe. For a little less than a year, the hospital provided various types of care, including amputations, orthopedics, injuires to the nervous system, mental health, and addictions. Occupational therapy, in the form of creating artwork, clothing and jewelry, helped injured and "shell-shocked" veterans recuperate.