Elaine Eisner is a Wisconsin advertising pioneer. She and her husband Bill Eisner Sr. founded Wm. Eisner and Associates, Inc. in 1959.
But it was Elaine’s vision and tenacity, after her husband’s sudden death in 1990, that made her a true pioneer. Elaine wanted to honor her husband’s love of advertising and his legacy of mentoring young creatives. In 2000, after a decade of planning, opened the William F. Eisner Museum of Advertising and Design in Milwaukee’s Third Ward. The museum quickly became known as The Eisner.
In 2004, she took the bold leap of buying the collections of the American Advertising Museum in Portland and added many of the exhibits to The Eisner, as well as putting together 2 traveling exhibits of advertising history that toured the U.S.
The Eisner, became the leading national collection of advertising memorabilia featuring current and historical collections, interactive displays and educational programs for adults and children. Over its ten-year history, thousands of school age kids toured the museum, learning the impact of modern advertising and design on American culture.
The museum was not only an educational gem, but it soon became one of Wisconsin’s most unique tourism destinations, attracting visitors from across the country for tours, programs and even weddings.
After 10 years, The Eisner Museum was forced to close after the building housing it was sold. But Elaine’s passion for education and promoting Milwaukee’s creative community never died. So at the young age of 86, Elaine created The Eisner Creative Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the diversity of Milwaukee’s creative community, by inspiring Milwaukee’s at-risk youth to pursue education and employment in the creative field. Since its inception, the Foundation has donated over $100,000 in scholarships and grants to encourage the creative pursuits of minority college and high school students and funded many inner city creative arts and educational programs.
Beloved by the entire ad community, Elaine’s tireless efforts to preserve Wisconsin’s advertising legacy while at the same time promoting youth education and creative diversity, makes Elaine a true trailblazer in Wisconsin advertising history.