A self-taught artist, Edward Kemeys first exhibited at the 1893 World’s Fair. A nature lover at heart, he was a prominent sculptor of animals and even kept a pet cougar named Nellie. Kemeys sculpted all but two of the interior bronze portraits and the calumets and panther (or lion?) heads on the entry doors. Kemeys was responsible for another set of famous Chicago lions—the bronze beasts that flank the Art Institute steps.