WILLIAM F. EISNER opened an advertising agency in Milwaukee at the age of 33. A graduate of both the Layton School of Art (predecessor to MIAD) and Marquette University, Eisner was both an innovator and an entrepreneur. By 1969, he had built a complex that housed several of his own companies, including an ad agency, printing company, photography studio, recording studio, graphic design studio and a public relations firm. He led the National Federation of Advertising Agencies as president, shared his insights as mentor and teacher for students at Marquette University's School of Journalism, and was active in the Milwaukee Advertising Club.
Elaine Eisner began to formulate the idea of an advertising and design museum after her husband's sudden death in 1990. The Wm. F. Eisner Museum of Advertising and Design was open for 10 years until the pending sale of the building that it was housed in, forced the museum to close it's doors in March of 2010.
The Board of Directors have transitioned the organization into The Eisner Creative Foundation, which will continue its' mission to educate and inspire the next generation of Wisconsin's creative professionals. The Eisner Creative Foundation will; 1. Provide grants to organizations and institutions that can most effectively inspire young people to make Milwaukee their creative home. 2. Distribute scholarships and cash awards to individuals who demonstrate the potential to become the future leaders within Milwaukee's Creative Community. 3. Aggregate professional resources and help create and organize a sustainable program to grow Wisconsin's creative economy.