Beaumont, TX; April 12, 2023 – Accomplished New York-based sculptor Ivan Schwartz will share his story of creating bronze sculptures for some of the nation’s most noted historic sites during Monuments & Symbols in American History, a free McFaddin-Ward House lecture, on Thursday, April 20, at 6:30 p.m. in the museum’s Visitor Center Lecture Hall (1906 Calder Avenue, Beaumont).
A sculptor, painter, and designer with a keen interest in American history and the use of sculpture in the development of our national symbols, Schwartz is the founder and director of StudioEIS, a sculpture and design studio based in Brooklyn, New York, that specializes in classical figurative sculpture and visual storytelling with production in bronze, stone, and resin for exhibitions at cultural institutions, museums, and corporations worldwide. His lecture will focus not only on the studio’s extensive sculpture portfolio, but also on the national conversation surrounding monuments and American symbols.
“Monuments are symbols for people whose contributions we value and respect, and we [StudioEIS] have made a lot of them,” Schwartz said. “And today, as America reexamines its history, as you might expect, new monuments are going up, but they are also coming down all over the country. The order of things is changing and this old-fashioned sculpture thing I’ve been doing for nearly 50 years has been front and center in a moment of national reflection. People are thinking about our history and the things that are important to them, and what I’ve learned, of course, is that the things I value may not be what my neighbor values.”
Founded in 1976, StudioEIS has now produced more important American history projects than any studio in U.S. history. The studio recently completed the Virginia Women’s Monument in Richmond, Virginia, and is currently working on the Clara Luper Memorial Sculpture in Oklahoma City with a planned unveiling in 2024.
“Some of what I’ve been doing for nearly five decades, while following on history’s coat tails, has become an important part of our American history,” Schwartz said. “We’re currently working on a lot of projects we might not have 10 years ago, and that’s part of the changing values in the country today.”
Examples of Schwartz’s works are located at Signer’s Hall at the National Constitution Center, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, New York Historical Library, and many presidential libraries, including the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin and the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station. His visual memoir, Scratching the Surface, was published in 2021.
McFaddin-Ward House lectures are free and open to the public, but space is limited. Doors open at 6 p.m.