Eli Harvey was raised on a farm in a devout Quaker community. The natural landscape of the Midwest inspired him to draw and paint at an early age. After studying at the Cincinnati Art Academy, he traveled to Paris, where he spent twelve years painting and sculpting animals. Harvey did not believe in using abstraction in art, and his sculptures express the beauty of nature as he felt God intended it. Brown University adopted one of Harvey’s best-loved works, an eight-foot-tall sculpture of a bear, as their mascot.