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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, USA. 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 1
  • Notable works 2
    • American history 2.1
    • Social and cultural history 2.2
    • Anthropology 2.3
    • Presidential libraries 2.4
    • Sports history 2.5
    • Military history 2.6
    • Science and technology 2.7
  • Further reading 3
    • On the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia 3.1
    • On the forensic reconstruction of George Washington at Mount Vernon 3.2
    • General 3.3
  • External links 4


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 many iconic figures such as Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens and the exhibition "Written in Bone" at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution.

Today StudioEIS' staff of Mount Vernon in 2006 involved state-of-the-art forensic research and computer reconstruction.

Notable works

American history

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

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


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

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

Sports history

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

Military history

Science and technology

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

Further reading

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.

External links

  • StudioEIS website
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