About the Museum

The Exhibit Designer

HealyKohler Design creates interpretive environments that intrigue, educate, and inspire visitors to museums, cultural institutions, and visitor centers. The creative team includes exhibit designers, graphic designers, lighting designers, media system designers, interpreters, and project managers. Through their experience, leadership, and close collaboration with clients, HealyKohler designs multi-faceted, powerful, interactive exhibits that “wow” visitors of all ages and interest levels.

The Statues

Under the direction of co-founder and director Ivan Schwartz, Brooklyn-based StudioEIS created 4 statues of Ulysses S. Grant at different stages of life. The sculptures are a careful balance of aesthetic interests – not bronze, not entirely realistic, inspired by the hand-colorized photos popular in the mid- to late 19th century.

StudioEIS compiled historical background information on Grant – his measurements, dates, clothing styles, etc. – before beginning the work. Representatives from Mississippi State University Libraries, along with exhibit designer Terence Healy, visited the studio with specific ideas which were integrated into the statues.

Statues of a younger Grant presented an enigma, as there is little historical documentation. StudioEIS used a blurry photograph of the young cadet at West Point to create the first statue. In comparison, General, President, and elder statesman Grant are very well documented, and their statues are historically accurate. These statues allow visitors to see Grant from different perspectives and add to the ambience and overall experience of the museum.

StudioEIS is well known for its public works in bronze, including sculptures of pop and sports icons and historical figures like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Frederick Douglass, and Abraham Lincoln. The studio has produced more historical sculptures than any other in United States history, making this work part of our cultural history and the public record.

The StudioEIS team includes Ivan Schwartz and his siblings Elliott Schwartz (co-founder and president) and Debra Schwartz (Project Director).

StudioEIS logo

The Interactive Displays

Relative Scale (Raleigh, NC) developed the Museum’s interactive displays. Under the direction of Luke Cline, Relative Scale creates multimedia experiences for interpretive environments. The Relative Scale team are storytellers, conceptual thinkers, and problem-solvers, motivated by the desire to create accurate historical insights. Their design process includes working with clients and the local team to develop a cohesive message, and managing and directing the design, production, and installation of the media.

Logo of Relative Scale.

The Fabricators

Founded in 1989, Formations Inc. is the award-winning Portland, Oregon-based firm specializing in planning, design, fabrication, and installation of interpretive exhibits and thematic interiors. Formations’ subject areas range from natural and social history to cultural, sports, and corporate experiences. Its dedicated staff include interpretive planners and evaluators, exhibit and graphic designers, writers, detailers, audiovisual specialists, estimators, fabricators, and project managers. They are an experienced team of professionals, working in a highly integrated facility which provides excellence at each phase. Formations strive to design exhibits with memorable imagery and regional identity, efficiency, accessibility, and functionality.

Formations logo