The following information was submitted in May of 2006 by her daughter Nancy Stillman:
Eleanor Stillman was born in 1928 in Cleveland, Ohio and received her early education in the Shaker Heights school system. She also attended the Cleveland School of Art (now the Cleveland Institute of Art) where she studied sculpture with Edris Eckhardt and Walter Sinz, both well-known American sculptors. Ms. Stillman received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1949 at Bennington College, where she furthered her studies in art and trained under the notable sculptor, Simon Moselsio, the former director of the Corporation of Yaddo in Saratoga Springs and student of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and Kunst Gewerbe Schule in Berlin.
In 1959 while in her early 30’s with two children to support, Ms. Stillman became one of the first women exercise riders in the United States. She galloped thoroughbreds for their daily workouts every morning at 5 a.m. on the racetracks of Northern Ohio. She had always been an avid horsewoman and rode hunters and jumpers in competition as well as rode to the hounds. She continued her career on the track until 1963, whereafter she taught art at the University School of Shaker Heights and Hunting Valley. Once family circumstances permitted, she moved to New York City in 1973 solely to pursue her work in sculpture and to be at the center of the art world.
Since that time, Ms. Stillman produced the major portion of her work. The combination of her equine experience with her lifetime studies in sculpture culminated in a series of bronze castings of thoroughbreds and jockeys in various postures—during the race or at rest. Roman Bronze Works in Corona, New York was the foundry that produced the bronze castings of her work from the 1960’s through the 1980’s. Her pieces are either individual with no other copies or are limited to editions of seven. The foundry used the lost wax method for her bronze castings. Ms. Stillman’s works were always signed by her as either “E. STILLMAN” or “E.S.” in block letters and Roman Bronze Works either stamped or etched “Roman Bronze Works Inc.” or “RBW” into each piece as well.
Ms. Stillman has also sculpted other figures including dogs, cats, chimpanzees, nude figures and busts which were either cast in bronze at Roman Bronze Works, as stated above, or sculpted in other media such as wood and marble.
The Cleveland Museum of Art Annual May Show, 1950’s
FAR Gallery, 1970’s
Kennedy Gallery, New York, 1970’s
Weyhe Gallery, New York, 1970’s
Sportsmans’ Edge, 1980’s
Essex Gallery of Sport, Far Hills, New Jersey, 1980’s
A Century of American Sculpture: The Roman Bronze Works Foundry, Lucy D. Rosenfeld, Schiffer Publishing, April 2002
Purchasers (incomplete list)
The late Walter M. Jeffords Jr. (nephew of Sam Riddle, owner of Man o’ War)
The late Dr. Benjamin Kean
Meadowlands Racetrack, permanent collection, Sonny Werblin
John Winthrop, descendant of 1st governor of Massachusetts
Commissioned busts (incomplete list)
Mr. and Mrs. Jean Cruguet, jockey of Seattle Slew, portrait of Cruguet
Dr. Classen, chief surgeon, Suburban Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio