Alexander Phimister Proctor
(1862-1950) was born in Ontario, Canada. After finishing school in Denver, Colorado, Proctor attended classes at the Art Students' League and the National Academy of Design in New York City (1888-1889). In the early 1890s he moved to France on an extended Rinehart scholarship where he studied in the studios of the French Beaux-Art artists J.A. Injalbert and C. Puech. It was in Paris that Proctor met the American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, later returning to New York to work with him. Proctor's work was exhibited at the World's Colombian Exposition in 1893: on the north side of the Grand Basin in front of the Manufactures Building, his heroic sculpture Statue of Labor; and next to the golden door to the Transportation Building, his work titled The Indian. All of the ornaments on bridges and balustrades of the Exposition were entrusted to Proctor.
Proctor won gold medals for works exhibited at the St. Louis Exposition (1904) and the San Francisco Exposition (1915). He was prominent among the artists who decorated the buildings at the Bronx Zoo: the antelope heads and frieze at the Small Deer House; the elephants decorating the Elephant House (1907); the decorative work at the Lion House (1903); at the Main Bird House; the animal frieze at the Monkey House (1901); and the frieze at the Reptile House are still greatly admired. Among his best known works are The Circuit Rider commemorating the work of the itinerant preachers of the old Northwest; the Princeton Tiger, the Bengal tigers at Sixteenth Street Bridge, Washington, D.C.; Four American Bison at the Q Street Bridge, Washington, D.C., The McKinley lions at Buffalo; a memorial to President McKinley; and the Pumas in Prospect Park Brooklyn.