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StudioEIS (pronounced "Studio Ice") is a sculpture and design studio in Brooklyn, New York, United States. It specializes in "visual storytelling" — the production of figurative sculpture in bronze, stone, and resin for narrative exhibitions at cultural institutions, museums, and corporations worldwide.
- 1 History
- 2 Notable works
- 3 Publications
- 4 Lectures
- 5 Architecture & Design
- 6 Further reading
- 7 References
- 8 External links
StudioEIS was founded in 1977 by New York City natives Ivan Schwartz (BFA Boston University College of Fine Arts) and Elliot Schwartz (BFA California Institute of the Arts, MFA Yale University). It pioneered the design and production of innovative figurative sculptures for use as visual storytelling elements within museum settings during the 1970s. When the company was founded, museum displays were "peopled" by store mannequins. With growing resistance to using mass-produced mannequins for exhibitions, and with many museums eliminating staff positions, StudioEIS found a niche for itself in the world of narrative storytelling for museums. With the American Bicentennial at hand and a renewed interest in history, numerous museums were established across the country to address topics as diverse as civil rights, Native American history, and science and technology. This confluence of talent and need created the initial impetus for StudioEIS' work.
Museums large and small began out-sourcing displays via exhibition designers, and called upon StudioEIS to create lifelike sculptures to tell stories about American culture and its political history in vivid ways that put a face to history. StudioEIS' early commissions, for the National Civil Rights Museum and the American Museum of Natural History, were figurative, life-sized, and designed to engage the museum visitor.
With a growing reputation, StudioEIS began to work outside the museum world where innovative object making through visual storytelling was born at StudioEIS. The studio now began to work with architects, industrial and scenic designers, restaurant designers, and hotel/casino designers. Sony, the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nike's flagship stores in Portland and Chicago, The Discovery Channel, and Martha Stewart Living are among its many corporate clients. StudioEIS' sculptures have been on display outside the United States in Mexico, Japan, Taiwan, Italy, Hong Kong, and Abu Dhabi.
The prominence of the studio grew as it became especially well known for its bronze portrait sculptures and public works, which have included sculptures of iconic figures, such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Elvis Presley, Albert Einstein, Frederick Douglass and 42 bronze Founding Fathers at the National Constitution Center - which may be the largest bronze sculpture project of its type in American history. The distinguished portrait sculptures created by StudioEIS are featured in important cultural institutions such as The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History, The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, The Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia and The American Museum of Natural History in New York City. StudioEIS' expertise has been called upon for high-profile "forensic" reconstruction projects for George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, the exhibition "Written in Bone" at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution and the exhibition JANE, Starvation, Cannibalism & Endurance at Jamestown for Jamestown and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.
Today StudioEIS' staff of sculptors, painters, costumers, researchers, and model-makers is enhanced by specialists in wax works, metal fabrication, and bronze casting. A project will often include collaboration with scholars in anthropology, costume history, and forensic science. The sculptures of George Washington at ages 19, 45 and 57 that were unveiled at Mount Vernon in 2006 involved state-of-the-art forensic research and computer reconstruction.
StudioEIS’ Archive resides at the Briscoe Center of American History at the University of Texas/Austin. It was unveiled in November 2014.
- Museum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia, PA - April, 2017. 17 figurative sculptures and 2 horses
- National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC – 2016. 16 Portrait Sculptures
- New York Historical Society, New York City - Exterior bronze Sculptures of President Lincoln and Frederick Douglass
- American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, Yorktown, VA, 2016 – 13 sculptures recreating Revolutionary America.
- John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York City, 2014 - Bronze sculpture of Chief Justice, John Jay.
- Maryland State House, Maryland Dept. of General Services in conjunction with the Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD, 2013 – Bronze Sculpture of George Washington and others as he gave his resignation speech to Congress.
- American Museum of Natural History, Theodore Memorial Hall, 2012 – Bronze sculpture of Teddy Roosevelt
- African American Burial Ground Interpretive Center, New York City, 2009 – Sculptures depicting a moment in the history for New York’s African American community.
- Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg, PA - 2009. Bronze sculpture of Abraham Lincoln for the new Visitor Center
- James Madison's Montpelier, Montpelier Station, VA - 2009. Bronze sculptures of James Madison and Dolley Madison
- National Trust for Historic Preservation, President Lincoln's Cottage at the Soldiers' Home, Washington, DC - 2009. Bronze sculpture of Abraham Lincoln and his horse
- Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, Charlottesville, VA - 2009. Bronze sculpture of Thomas Jefferson.
- Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, MI. Bronze sculpture of Lucius Lyon, 19th-century senator from Michigan
- Morristown Green, Morristown, NJ - 2007. Bronze sculptures of George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and the Marquis de Lafayette
- George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, Mount Vernon, VA - 2006. Forensically recreated wax sculptures of George Washington at ages 19, 45, and 57, plus four bronze portrait sculptures of George Washington, Martha Washington and their grandchildren
- National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, PA - 2001. Forty-two bronze sculptures of the signers of the U.S. Constitution
- North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh, NC - 2001. Historical bronze portrait sculptures
- Great Platte River Road Memorial Archway Museum, Kearney, NE - 2000. Sixteen historical sculptures and two oxen
- Lowell Heritage State Park, Lowell, MA - 1984. Sixteen 18th-century sculptures depicting life in Lowell, where the Industrial Revolution began in America
Social and cultural history
- The Henry Ford Estate at Fair Lane, Dearborn, MI, 2017 – Bronze sculptures of Henry and Clara Ford
- The Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, Grosse Pointe Shores, MI, 2014 - Bronze sculpture of Edsel & Eleanor Ford, for the grounds of the house.
- Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC, 2017 – Sculptures of Galileo, Newton and George Washington Carver.
- Autry National Center of the American West, Los Angeles, CA, 2010 – Figurative Sculptures: Women’s History of the WestThe National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, TN - 1991. Twenty-seven sculptures representing the history of the Civil Rights Movement from 1955 through 1968
- Elvis Presley sculpture, Honolulu, HI - 2007. Bronze
- Motown Cafe, Orlando, FL - 1998. Bronze, 56 sculptures of Motown recording artists
- Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA – 1997. Tonally painted historical sculptures for the "Art of the Gold Rush" and sculptures for the exhibition "California: A Place, A People, A Dream"
- Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham, AL - 1992. Fifteen sculptures depicting moments from the Civil Rights Movement
- Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, Mashantucket, CT - 1997. One hundred eleven naturalistically painted Native American sculptures representing the history of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe
- Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, New Haven, CT - 2002. Six sculptures and cast dwellings on the history of Machu Picchu for the exhibition "Unveiling the Mystery of the Incas"
- Milwaukee Public Museum - Native American Project, Milwaukee, WI - 1999. Thirty-six naturally painted sculptures of Pow-wow dancers
- American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY, 1990. Construction of "King Mbunza," a completely articulated fiberglass sculpture for the artifact display in the "African Reflections" exhibit
- Anchorage Historical and Fine Arts Museum, Anchorage, AK - 1985. Thirty-five sculptures representing the indigenous peoples of the region
- George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, College Station, TX - 2006. Bronze portrait sculpture of George H.W. Bush
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, Hyde Park, NY - 2003. Bronze portrait sculptures of Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt
- Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library and Birthplace, Yorba Linda, CA - 1990, 2002. Portrait sculptures of Richard Nixon and Zhou Enlai for a traveling exhibit; ten portrait sculptures of world leaders who influenced President Nixon's life
- Truman Presidential Library and Museum, Kirksville, MO - 2001. Bronze portrait sculptures of Harry S. Truman
- Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, Austin, TX - 1991-1994. World War II sculptures
- NASCAR Hall of Fame, Charlotte, NC - 2009. Portrait sculptures of the founders of NASCAR
- Yankee Stadium Museum, New York, NY - 2009. Fiberglass sculptures of Don Larsen and Yogi Berra from the "1956 Perfect World Series Game"
- Puerto Rico Museum of Sports, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico - 2002-2009. Portrait sculptures of Crissy Fuentes, Roberto Clemente, Rafael Ramirez, and many other athletes
- Legacy Soccer Foundation, Orlando, FL - 2004. Bronze soccer player to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the World Cup
- National Collegiate Athletic Association Museum, Indianapolis, IN - 1999. Thirty-five athletic figures, including six bronze sculptures of the "flying wedge," for the new headquarters of the NCAA
- York College, Jamaica, NY - 2009. Sculpture of a Tuskegee Airman for York College
- National Infantry Museum, Fort Benning, GA – June 2009. Fifty sculptures depicting the history of the U.S. Infantry
- National Museum of the Marine Corps, Quantico, VA - 2006. Seventy-four realistically painted sculptures of Marine Corps figures
- US Army Aviation Museum, Fort Rucker, AL - 2005. Bronze sculptures
- Wisconsin Veterans Museum, Madison, WI - 1992. Over sixty sculptures of military figures from the American Revolution to the Vietnam War
Science and technology
- National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC - 2009. "Written in Bone: Forensic Files of the 17th Century Chesapeake." Forensic recreation sculptures.
- Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, California - 2006. Portrait of Albert Einstein
- Virginia Air and Space Museum Center, Hampton Roads Historical Center, Hampton Roads, Virginia - 1991. Thirty sculptures of historical and contemporary figures
- National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC - 1978-1983. Life-size portrait of Benjamin Franklin with reproduction of the clothing worn to celebrate the ascension of the Montgolfier Balloon in Paris in 1783; three sculptures for "The Golden Age of Flight," a racing tableau
- Cheng Chung Aviation Museum, Taipei, Taiwan - 1980. Two aviation dioramas
- American Way – National Harbor – National Harbor, MD, 2016, 2017 – 9 bronze sculptures including: Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Washington, Rosie the Riveter, FDR, Eisenhower, Churchill, Louis Armstrong and Henry Ford for the plaza.
- City of Smithtown, Smithtown, New York, 2014 - Bronze sculpture of Richard Smith, founder of Smithtown, NY
- Great American Project, Liberty, MO, ongoing beginning in 2012 – Bronze sculptures of Mark Twain and George Washington
- The 9,000-Year-Old Man Speaks, Kennewick Man, 2014 - Douglas Preston for the Smithsonian Magazine
- JANE, Starvation, Cannibalism, and Endurance at Jamestown, 2013 - James Horn, William Kelso, Douglas Owsley, Beverly Straube
- Their Skeletons Speak, KENNEWICK MAN AND THE PALEOAMERICAN WORLD, 2012 - Sally M. Walker, Douglas W. Owsley
- The Many Faces of GEORGE WASHINGTON, REMAKING A PRESIDENTIAL ICON, 2011 - Carla Killough McClafferty
- WRITTEN IN BONE Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland, 2009 - Sally M. Walker
- THE NATIONAL CONSTITUTION CENTER, 2007 - Michael Les Benedict, John Bogle
- THE LETTERS OF PIERCE BUTLER 1790-1794 , 2007 - Edited by Terry W. Lipscomb
- Cincinnati Sculpture Unveiled, The Story Behind the Art, 2006 -Randy Centner & Philip Farr
- WATCHING THE WORLD CHANGE, The Stories Behind the Images of 9/11,v2006 - David Friend
- US Postage Stamp “To Form A More Perfect Union”, 2005 - Image from The National Civil Rights Museum
- THE AMERICAN NATIONAL TREE, 2004 - National Constitution Center, Biographies from an exhibit
- MASHANTUCKET PEQUOT MUSEUM & RESEARCH CENTER, 2000 - Theresa Hayward Bll, Jack Campisi, Steve Dunwell
- Everyday People, The National Civil Rights Museum, 1995 - Alice Faye Duncan
- WORLD WAR II Personal Accounts PEARL HARBOR TO V-J DAY, 1992 -traveling exhibition sponsored by The National Archives and Records Administration, Gary A. Yarrington, Curator and Catalog Editor, James Stokesbury, Essay
- Metropolitan Club, Washington, DC, 2010 - “Picturing History” with Ivan Schwartz
- National Trust for Historic Preservation, President Lincoln’s Cottage, 2010
- Washington, DC - “Picturing History” with Ivan Schwartz
- Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg, PA, 2010 - “Conversation with Ivan Schwartz”, Director of StudioEIS
- Montgomery College, Takoma Park, MD, 2009 - “StudioEIS and the Art of Visual Storytelling, Two new sculpture of Abraham Lincoln”
- Washington College, Chestertown, MD, 2006
- Marymount College, New York, NY, 2006
- Lower East Side Tenement Museum, New York, NY, 2000
- U.S. Army Museums Conference, Fort Leonard Wood, MO, 1998 - Conference “Thinking Outside the Box”
- Exhibit Design, World Symposium, Chicago, IL, 1998
- The University of Minnesota School of Architecture, 1976
Architecture & Design
- UPS, TV Commercial, New York, NY, 2010 - Larger than life replica of wooden mannequin foot
- Nurai Island Residence, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 2008 - 25 architectural models representing unique limited edition beach front villas developed by Zaya Real Estate Corporation
On the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia
- "NCC Commissions Sculptures of Founders to Depict Defining Moment." Signature (the newsletter of the National Constitution Center), Fall 2001.
- History Is Remade, One Bronzed Gentleman After Another, by Andy Newman. New York Times, July 4, 2001.
- Madame Tussaud These Two Are Not, by Mary Raffalli. New York Times, May 2, 2001.
- "Founding Faces," by Diana Marder. Philadelphia Inquirer May 26, 2002.
- Founding Fathers, Large as Life, by Rita Reif. New York Times, November 24, 2002.
On the forensic reconstruction of George Washington at Mount Vernon
- "Masterworks: A Presidential Cast," by Ruth Katz. New York Home Magazine.
- Coming Soon to Mount Vernon, 3 Georges, by Warren E. Leary. New York Times, February 17, 2006.
- Putting a Face on the First President, by Jeffrey H. Schwartz. Scientific American, February 2006.
- Abe, We Hardly Knew Ye This Way, by Jake Mooney. New York Times, June 29, 2008.
- Hiding Behind the Light, in Plain Sight, by Bonnie Schwartz. New York Times, January 13, 2000.
- "Art Flourishes on a Grimy Brooklyn Waterfront," by Kennedy Fraser. New York Times, October 27, 1997.