StudioEIS

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Some of the 42 signers of the U.S. Constitution at the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia. Photo (c) Elliot Schwartz for StudioEIS

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.

History[edit]

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.

Notable works[edit]

American history[edit]

Washington, Hamilton and Lafayette, Morristown Green, Morristown, NJ (2007). Photo (c) Elliot Schwartz for StudioEIS
Lincoln and his horse, at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, President Lincoln's Cottage, Soldiers' Home. Photo (c) Carol H. Highsmith, 2009

Social and cultural history[edit]

National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, TN (1991). Photo (c) Elliot Schwartz for StudioEIS
  • 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

Anthropology[edit]

Members of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, Mashantucket, CT (1997). Photo (c) Elliot Schwartz for StudioEIS

Presidential libraries[edit]

Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, FDR Presidential Library, Hyde Park. Photo (c) Bill Urbin

Sports history[edit]

"Flying Wedge," National Collegiate Athletic Association Museum, Indianapolis, IN (1999). Photo (c) Elliot Schwartz for StudioEIS

Military history[edit]

Science and technology[edit]

Einstein at the Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, California (2006). Photo (c) Elliot Schwartz for StudioEIS

Public Works[edit]

  • 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

Publications[edit]

  • 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

Lectures[edit]

  • 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[edit]

  • 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

Further reading[edit]

On the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia[edit]

On the forensic reconstruction of George Washington at Mount Vernon[edit]

General[edit]

References[edit]


External links[edit]