Modeling for the Museum | New York City | November 2009

About six months ago, I completed the design development for an expansion of the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, home of the National Rivers Hall of Fame in Dubuque, Iowa. When the project opens next spring, one of the many things visitors will encounter will be a full-scale re-creation of a scene from the North American fur trade. The scene will feature life-cast human figures of voyageurs and Native Americans, a rocky shoreline, trees, and a cascading stream.

I visited StudioEIS in New York City last week to workshop and establish the poses for the figures. One voyageur will be trading goods with an Ojibwa Indian, while another will be preparing for portage by pulling the 90-pound packs from the birchbark canoe. With makeshift costuming and props, we determined the staging for the scene.

We tried a variety of poses and took about a hundred reference photographs. From these, we gained client approval and will soon cast real human bodies, faces and hands so the figures can be fabricated with the amazing detail that is the hallmark of StudioEIS's work. Part of that detail will be a full-body likeness of yours truly! I will soon return to the studio to be cast in plaster and resin as one of the fur traders.

Please check back for an update.