Dec. 3, 2021
StudioEIS, whose extensive archive is part of the Briscoe Center’s collections, will unveil its latest creation on Dec. 4, 2021 during the Kennedy Center Honors weekend: a bronze sculpture of the likeness of President John F. Kennedy.
Commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, and underwritten by Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein in honor of its namesake, the sculpture is a part of the yearlong 50th anniversary celebration of the founding of the nation’s performing arts center. The 81-inch, 660-pound sculpture will be located outdoors in the lower gardens of the Kennedy Center’s REACH campus and will be accessible to all visitors at the complex.
“CBS Sunday Morning” will feature a story on the making of the Kennedy sculpture with StudioEIS (broadcast date to be determined).
This project presented a different challenge: Kennedy was a mass-media friendly president, extensively photographed and filmed, creating a strong “popular memory” in our collective minds. This perception created challenges for the sculptors, who were charged with finding just the right representation to sensitively portray the beloved and still-mourned young president.
“Our personal and political lives have never been more entwined than they are right now than in this area of public sculpting, which has always been my personal passione d’amore,” said Ivan Schwartz, co-founder of StudioEIS. “Although it tested our skills, there was deep satisfaction in creating this new Kennedy sculpture.”
Working closely with the Kennedy Center to make critical artistic decisions, StudioEIS wanted to evoke an image of President Kennedy that is full of energy and very approachable. The smiling, larger-than-life-sized Kennedy sculpture strides forward in a pose that will engage all visitors to the Kennedy Center campus. The extraordinary level of detail in the work even captures the oft-documented image of Kennedy fidgeting with his coat buttons.
“This statue dedication is a significant moment for Ivan Schwartz and Elliot Schwartz, the founders of StudioEIS,” said Don Carleton, executive director of the Briscoe Center. “They have become great friends and supporters of the Briscoe Center, and were delighted to join them in celebration of this major milestone.”