One of the earliest American sculptors of animal figures is the Ohio born sculptor, painter, and illustrator, Eli Harvey (1860-1957). As a young man he taught himself to draw and later studied at the Cincinnati Art Academy. Harvey perfected his skills as a sculptor in Paris 1889-1900 by studying at the Academie Julian and the Academie Delecluse. He worked with animal sculptures for the Paris Zoo, the Jardin des Plantes, under the direction of Fremiet; exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1899; and won a gold medal at the Paris-Province Exhibition of 1900. After exhibiting his animal models in Paris salons Harvey entered the competition for the sculptures to adorn the Lion House at the Bronx Zoo. In 1901 the 2 great lions in limestone that flank the entrance to the Lion House at the Bronx Zoo were commissioned from him by the New York Zoological Society. His bronze eight-foot tall bear became the mascot of Brown University; his sculpture of the elk represents the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; and a medal that the American Numismatic Society issued in 1917 commemorates America's entry into World War I. Harvey's work can be seen at the American Museum of Natural History and the American Numismatic Society.

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