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1891 coin design competition. Names of participants.

RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,852 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited October 31, 2017 6:22AM in U.S. Coin Forum

Here is a list of artists submitting designs for U.S. silver coins during the open completion of 1891. Any number of designs could be submitted for the dime, quarter, half dollar and dollar, but not more than two for the dollar. Competitors had to submit a plaster model of each design. This list is taken from RG104 Entry 235, Volume 061 which includes copies of letters of receipt sent to each participant. Most letters are dated June 1-2, 1891. (The quantity of "300 entries" usually stated does not match the number of acknowledgements in the fair copy volume, but some might have been skipped or entries might not have met the competition terms.)

To my knowledge, contest participants have never before been published.

An expert committee of Mint Engraver Charles E. Barber, seal engraver Henry Mitchell and sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens reviewed the designs and pronounced them all unacceptable. This led directly to a squabble between Barber and Saint-Gaudens, and prompted Mint Director Leech to request Barber begin preparation of new subsidiary silver designs on June 11.

[PS: Other letters indicate that ten well-known sculptors were invited to participate, but within the broader general public competition. Sculptor Daniel C. French and others objected, but their complaints arrived only a few days before the deadline, and were rejected due to time constraints.]

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,899 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very cool! I wonder how many of their plasters are out there. Did the Mint return plasters like in the Jefferson nickel competition or otherwise release any of the plasters?

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    RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The mint returned the models at government expense.

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,899 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 30, 2017 8:48AM

    Nice. I haven't seen any plasters for this specific competition yet but it's good to know they may be out there. Are there records of plasters that were returned?

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    RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There are a few dollar designs illustrated in published materials, but they are usually attributed to the National Sculpture Society competition of 1895.

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    TommyTypeTommyType Posts: 4,586 ✭✭✭✭✭

    First, I don't think it surprising that artists completely unfamiliar with the requirements for creating a producible coin might submit completely unacceptable plaster models. It seems like an odd requirement. Any coin design is probably an iterative process from drawing to cast, followed by modification and compromise.....

    In other words, it seems like a competition that may have been doomed to fail to begin with, if they evaluated the castings without considering the more basic artistic quality! (Then again, maybe some of them submitted portraits of their cats....I don't know). ;)

    But I'm struck by the number of female contributors.

    Even if we assume all of the "initials only" submitters are male, (probably not the case), there were still a fair number of obvious female names.

    Now...Since it was (how long??) before an actual design of a female artist was actually used on a circulating US coin, I can't speak for how the contributions were viewed by the exclusively male evaluators....

    Easily distracted Type Collector
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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,899 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 30, 2017 9:06AM

    @TommyType said:
    First, I don't think it surprising that artists completely unfamiliar with the requirements for creating a producible coin might submit completely unacceptable plaster models. It seems like an odd requirement. Any coin design is probably an iterative process from drawing to cast, followed by modification and compromise.....

    In other words, it seems like a competition that may have been doomed to fail to begin with, if they evaluated the castings without considering the more basic artistic quality! (Then again, maybe some of them submitted portraits of their cats....I don't know). ;)

    But I'm struck by the number of female contributors.

    Even if we assume all of the "initials only" submitters are male, (probably not the case), there were still a fair number of obvious female names.

    Now...Since it was (how long??) before an actual design of a female artist was actually used on a circulating US coin, I can't speak for how the contributions were viewed by the exclusively male evaluators....

    If coinability was a requirement it sounds like it could have been used to disqualify submitters. Barber used this same argument against St. Gaudens but lost his argument to the President.

    Regarding women designers, the 1932 Washington quarter might have gone to Laura Gardin Fraser but is the first circulating coin design by a woman the 2000 Sacajawea by Glenna Goodacre, 68 years later?

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    RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    “…I think it would reflect credit upon our service if we were to show the public that we have sufficient talent in our own service to prepare suitable designs for our coins with the great public have failed to do so.”

    [June 11, 1891, excerpt. Director Edwin O. Leech to Superintendent Philadelphia Mint regarding having the engraver prepare new designs for subsidiary silver coins.]

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    StrikeOutXXXStrikeOutXXX Posts: 3,350 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I googled most of the names, many provided information. The thing that struck me about the list, is most are not amateurs, they were quite notable in some instances in their field. The list includes:

    • Well known sculptress and maker of wood insect models - married to the engraver of the US Dept of Agriculture engraver of insects for Government publications
    • Master silver designer/silversmith in Renaissance Revival
    • Famous wood carver
    • Member of National Academy of Fine Arts - Painted portraits of Secretaries of the Treasury
    • Famous bronze sculptor featured in The History of American Sculpture
    • Famous sculptor - statues featured at the World Columbian Exposition - won 1st medal for sculpture awarded by the Art Institute of Chicago
    • Sculptor and medalist - featured works at the Worlds Fair at Chicago 1893 and Paris Exposition 1900. Wrote several childrens books, and a famous terra cotta medalist
    • Industrial Architect
    • Designer of letterhead/stickers/seals used by Pirie MacDonald on pictures of US Presidents

    I am betting there was some quality work submitted - how it fit into the numismatic culture or viable coinability though remains to be seen.

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    "You Suck Award" - February, 2015

    Discoverer of 1919 Mercury Dime DDO - FS-101
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    RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice info StrikeOutXXX !

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    RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,852 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 31, 2017 5:41AM

    April 4, 1891 letter by Mint Director Leech concerning design competition.

    “…a circular letter addressed to artists, requesting them to prepare and submit designs for both the obverse and reverse of the silver dollar, and for the obverse of the half-dollar, quarter-dollar and dime.”

    This helps explain some of the submissions.

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    More great historic coin information....and it is interesting to see the typical politics always quietly moving behind the scenes....Cheers, RickO

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    RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Does anyone know the source of the "300 submissions" comment that appears in published articles relating to the 1891 contest? Receipts mentioned in the fair copy volumes don't come anywhere close to that figure.

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    StrikeOutXXXStrikeOutXXX Posts: 3,350 ✭✭✭✭✭

    No clue on the source - I even though perhaps it was individual entries (like 5 for this guy, 9 for that person, etc added up) but that didn't come out from your list you provided either.

    Also, almost every article written about the 300 entries mentions only 2 were given "Honorable Mention" - maybe as you're digging you can find which 2 those were.

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    "You Suck Award" - February, 2015

    Discoverer of 1919 Mercury Dime DDO - FS-101
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    RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Haven't checked contemporary newspapers, yet.

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    originalisbestoriginalisbest Posts: 5,915 ✭✭✭✭

    I doubt the public at large would be able to produce designs with coinability in mind, but presumably some of the invitees above, being from loosely related professional walks of life, might have been able to take it into consideration.

    I don't particularly care for his product, but dcarr could probably have a good seller or two on his hands, if the original submitted designs are ever found (and seem worthwhile) to bring them to life in metallic, minted form.

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    StrikeOutXXXStrikeOutXXX Posts: 3,350 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 3, 2017 9:59AM

    Seems the quote of "300 Suggestions submitted" came from Director Leech - cited from a July 31 Boston Transcript reporter?

    https://books.google.com/books?id=-lDOgdpjfSoC&pg=PA2&lpg=PA2#v=onepage&q=honorable mention&f=false

    But.... I read the July 31st edition of the newspaper about 5 times, can't find any reference.
    https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=sArNgO4T4MoC&dat=18910731&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    "You Suck Award" - February, 2015

    Discoverer of 1919 Mercury Dime DDO - FS-101
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    RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The newspapers I've checked over the past couple of hours have a range of 200 to 500, with "nearly 300" being the most common. In looking over files from past open competitions, it seems that regardless of rules requiring sculpted models, most submissions were sketches and drawings of various quality. It would be reasonable to then believe that the receipts mentioned in the Mint volumes are only for those submitting models, and that no acknowledgements were made to those sending drawings.

    Thus, there might have been 200 to 300 submissions, but only a few dozen that complied with the rules.

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    RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @originalisbest said:
    I doubt the public at large would be able to produce designs with coinability in mind, but presumably some of the invitees above, being from loosely related professional walks of life, might have been able to take it into consideration.

    I don't particularly care for his product, but dcarr could probably have a good seller or two on his hands, if the original submitted designs are ever found (and seem worthwhile) to bring them to life in metallic, minted form.

    With a model or design in hand, you are probably correct. But would there be sufficient interest - especially if the medals were fully compliant with HPA?

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    originalisbestoriginalisbest Posts: 5,915 ✭✭✭✭

    @RogerB said:

    @originalisbest said:
    I doubt the public at large would be able to produce designs with coinability in mind, but presumably some of the invitees above, being from loosely related professional walks of life, might have been able to take it into consideration.

    I don't particularly care for his product, but dcarr could probably have a good seller or two on his hands, if the original submitted designs are ever found (and seem worthwhile) to bring them to life in metallic, minted form.

    With a model or design in hand, you are probably correct. But would there be sufficient interest - especially if the medals were fully compliant with HPA?

    Probably not sufficient interest, I expect (but then I don't know by what criteria dcarr decides to pursue a given design.) Frankly on the topic of HPA and dancing the line, I am strongly on your side (not to open that can of worms.) I don't own any dcarr products. Was just thinking out loud. :smile:

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    RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Unfortunately, none of the 1891 designs have shown up. There are, however, several 1938 nickel entrants in plaster and many more as sketches --- Same for the Washington competition, and there are others solicited by Dir Linderman in the 1870s. (These latter ones will be published in a few months.)

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    StrikeOutXXXStrikeOutXXX Posts: 3,350 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 6, 2017 7:54AM

    A few posts up I mentioned that the info I could find on some of the participants indicated they were rather notable in their field - or at least, ended up being so later in their careers.

    Just read something that got me thinking:

    "Competition Gone Wrong:

    When congress authorized coin redesigns in 1891, the U.S. Mint created a competition and sought out famous artists for entries. But surprisingly, all of the artists cooperated and refused to submit designs because the Mint was only prepared to award a prize for the winning design. All the others who had submitted entries would have put in many hours of work and effort with no payback. After that setback the Mint opened the competition to the public. That contest was boycotted by qualified artists for the same reasons and very few entries were deemed remotely acceptable.

    After the competition failure, the Mint went to Chief Engraver Charles Barber, whom they commissioned to design a new dime, quarter and half dollar coin. Barber must have been pleased with this outcome as he was known for his opposition to outside designers."

    From here: https://blog.iccoin.com/2015/09/04/are-they-liberty-head-or-are-they-barber-coins/

    There are no sources in this blog, but if "That contest was boycotted by qualified artists" - makes me wonder what they considered those who did submissions. While it appears many of them went on to have highly respected careers in their particular field, perhaps in 1891 they were up-and-comers trying to make a name for themselves? I wonder what those who boycotted thought of those who submitted designs. I wonder if they held any ill-will towards them sort of how union workers on strike feel towards those who cross the picket lines type of thing.

    With sources indicating the Mint only gave "Honorable Mention" to two of the entrants - I guess I can agree with the end results and this blog's quote of "...very few entries were deemed remotely acceptable".

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    "You Suck Award" - February, 2015

    Discoverer of 1919 Mercury Dime DDO - FS-101
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    RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,852 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 6, 2017 8:57AM

    The quoted material is generally correct; however, this part "After that setback the Mint opened the competition to the public" is wrong. The competition was announced via a public circular which was also sent individually to the most prominent US artists. (See list. below.) These, through Daniel C. French, expressed their objections to Director Leech. But their letter arrived only about 10 days before entries were due and Leech felt he could not change contest specifications on such short notice.

    One suggestion Leech accepted was to appoint an expert committee to review submissions. This included Barber, Henry Mitchell and Saint-Gaudens.

    The New York Recorder of June 16 commented:
    "When men such as Messrs. ward, St. Gaudens, French, Warner, Nichaus, Adams, MacMonnies, Cox, Low and Mowbery decline to enter into this competition it leaves the field open for other designers less about and from whom less worthy work can be certainly expected."

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    StrikeOutXXXStrikeOutXXX Posts: 3,350 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 6, 2017 11:45AM

    Roger, do you have access/a subscription to the Chicago Tribune? Still looking up names from the list, Pascal Caron got a hit, but I can't access the actual print (scanned) copy, but Google had a cached copy (sort of OCR'd with some errors) but has some interesting info on some of the submitted design details as well as what likely resulted in the "Honorable Mention" artists.

    Link if you have a login to this place:
    https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/28513358/

    Google's Cached Results:

    Jun 4, 1891

    ARTISTS' DESIGNS UNFIT.

    NONE OF THE MODELS FOR COINS AN

    THE OLD ONES.

    , D. C., June 3.-[Snecial.]- Th of the Director of the Mint was crowded this morning with boxes and pack- ages of all kinds containing models or medal- ions in plaster for new designs for the silver coins of the United States. The designs num- bered between two and three hundred. The committee of artists appointed by the Secre- tary of the Treasury, consisting of Augustus St. Gaudens, the sculptor, of New York, Henry

    I-.., tUle engraver, ot Boston, and C. E. Barber, the engraver of tle Mint at Philadel- phia, examined the models in the presence of the Director. After all the designs had been passed upon those which were considered most meritorious were again taken up, and after careful consideration the committee de- cided that "none of the designs or models submitted are such a decided improvement upon the present designs of the silver coins of the United States as to of adoption by the government." One of the most beau- designs submitted was by Pascal Caron of Providence, R. I., being a design for the obverse or face of the half-dollar. It was a' liberty head surrounded by thirteen stars. Two designs submitted by J. Frenzel of New York City-one of a full.size figure of a Liberty, with two chil- dren on either side of her, one wearing a sword and helmet and the other unrolling a scroll; and the other, an eagle holding in its talons the words, "One dollar." the motto " In Godwe trust "encircling the whole-were considered meritorious. Three designs from Mrs. Imogene Robinson Morrell of Washing- ton, D. C., representing for the obverse of the silver dollar the figure of Washington on , and for the reverse an eagle with folded wings, were favorably noticed, while four designs by A. E. Olsnon of Cambridge, Mass., representing three heads of Liberty for the obverse and a heraldic eagle for the re- verse, met with praise, So did two designs by Caroline Hurd Rimmer of Boston for the ob- verse and reverse of the silver dollar, the ob. verse being a front view of the bead of Wash- ington, very lifelike, with the word Liberty above; for the reverse an eagle with folded wings. The Director has not decided what further steps ha will take to secure artistic de- signs fur coins of the United States but it is likely that some of the designers will be given a chance to improve on their present attempts.

    ==============
    From: Evening star (Washington, DC) June 04, 1891, Page 6
    Washington on a horse?

    ========
    Even better yet - more detailed descriptions of submissions with by far more information that the above 2, although hard to read (Love the "cranky" entry from an actual inmate at an asylum in Philadelphia lol): Whole right column - "No Ideal Goddess Yet" - The Sun, June 14, 1891
    http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030272/1891-06-14/ed-1/seq-23/#date1=1891&index=0&rows=20&words=eagle+folded+wings&searchType=basic&sequence=0&state=&date2=1891&proxtext=eagle+with+folded+wings&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    "You Suck Award" - February, 2015

    Discoverer of 1919 Mercury Dime DDO - FS-101
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    StrikeOutXXXStrikeOutXXX Posts: 3,350 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 6, 2017 2:45PM

    I think I got the transcription correct on all but 2 words from that long link at the bottom of the above post:

    The Sun
    NEW YORK, SUNDAY, JUNE 14, 1891
    Page 23
    ————
    NO IDEAL GODDESS YET.
    —-
    AN ARTISTIC CONCEPTION OF THE
    EAGLE ALSO LACKING.
    ————
    Popular Competition in Designs for the
    New Silver Coins a Failure - Most of the
    200 Models Inferior and Only a Few
    Considered at All - Some Suggestions.

    Washington, June 12 - It did not take the committee of artists appointed by the Director of the Mint ver long to pass on the 200 and more designs submitted for competition on Wednesday of last week. Few of them were reserved for close examination. Of these few two sets were by women. The popular competition for new designs for our silver coins was a failure. The coins are going to be remodelled, though, and the work will probably be done by some eminent artist.

    It is rather surprising that among the many designs submitted there was only one which could be called “cranky.” There were many that had very little merit to commend them, but all of those were the sincere work of men and women who had given much sane and well-chosen thought to their efforts. The one “cranky” design was sent by an old lady. Who, it was learned after the designs had been examined, is an inmate of an asylum for the insane at Philadelphia. It came in a soap box decorated without and within with American bunting. The models, which were in clay were packed under heavy corduroy, cotton, and cushions of soft white cloth, which protected effectually them from damage in transit. They were laid side by side, and around each was woven a dainty wreath of laurel. The obverse had a raised profile of a woman holding between her out-stretched hands a globe, on which was inscribed “The World.” Above this figure was the word “Liberty.” and below it “1891. America.” The figure was evidently intended as a likeness of the designer, as enclosed with the model was a photograph of the old lady in the attitude of the figure in clay. The reverse of the design had the eagle holding crossed flags in his claws, with the conventional “United States of America” and “In God We Trust” above it, and below the words, “Our Country’s Hope,” and below them “One Dollar.”.

    Most of the designs had the figure of Liberty on the obverse, some of them the figure or head of Washington, and one or two the head or figure of the American Indian. The models were chiefly in plaster, although some were in clay, and one was in metal in imitation of silver. They came from all parts of the Union, although the Eastern cities furnished the great majority of them. Some of them had evidently cost the designers much time and trouble and no little expense. One artist in Trenton, N.J., had had his models beautifully finished and mounted in wood with photographs of each tacked in the corner of the frame. He had chosen the Liberty figure for his obverse design, but had departed somewhat from the conventional lines. His figure of Liberty was of three-quarters length, in Grecian drapery, and with the head turned to the right, showing the face and profile. The hair flowed from beneath the cap down over the shoulders. A shield bearing the word “Liberty” is held a little to the right of the centre of the design, the left arm being extended across the body to the upper right-hand corner of the shield and the right hand passing under the shield at the left. The date was engraved half way up the side of the coin. An artist in Taunton, Mass., evidently expected confidently that his design would be chosen, for in shipping it by express he placed upon it the valuation of $1,000. The obverse of his design was a full face of Liberty - a “Liberty” much handsomer than the Philadelphia woman whose face was the last model for our coin.

    A Philadelphia sculptor sent over a combination design for the dime which would have been funny if hit had not evidenced the earnestness of the designer. It combined a Liberty head, the eagle, and the shield on one side of the coin. The Liberty head above was looking down with a rather discontented expression. The bust below the head was covered by a figure of an eagle with outstretched wings, and the eagle was half hidden by a shield. A narrow ribbon twined in and around this triple design bearing the words, “E Pluribus Unum.” “Liberty,” and “In God We Trust.” The same face and head, in profile, were used by the same artist to cover almost the entire face of the dollar design, a horn of plenty winding around Liberty’s neck and scattering flowers over the date.

    A newark, N.J., artists displayed more energy than originality. He sent in ten models, but they were all variations of the same idea. There is a stock picture of Marie Wainwright, representing her with shoulders half draped and head turned so that the face looks at you over the left shoulder. The Newark man seemed to have taken this picture for his model, and his “Liberty” - a rather flat-faced lady, the line of whose nose ran straight up to her hair - was peeping coyly back at the great American public above a rather bare left shoulder blade. The principal variation in this design consisted in a rearrangement of the hair, the artist’s favorite coiffure? being the Psyche knot.

    One design departed entirely from the conventional. The obverse was a representation of the western hemisphere, with the words “United States of America” around the raised rim. The principal figure in the reverse was a triangle with a “One” across the centre and “Dollar” underneath.

    The artist of a prominent New York engraving company submitted a model of the typical head of the American Indian encircled with forty-two stars. Two young girls, students of a Chicago art school, sent in a design representing a conventional eagle with folded wings much like the famous “Old Abe” of the Grand Army. A New Orleans woman sent some designs on paper, rolled in a big tin cylinder, which did not come within the conditions of the competition. Her obverse design was Houdon’s head of Washington with the motto “Esto Perpetus” above it. The reverse was the conventional eagle. A Columbus, Tenn., artist sent in a figure of Liberty with wings outstretched over the country, the United States represented by the cloak as he describes it. The figure was very like one of Vedder’s angels, exquisite in the delicacy of its modeling, but hardly appropriate to the purpose for which it was intended. Another figure of America was represented as sitting on a bale of cotton with arms extended left and right, displaying symbols of prosperity.

    The metal design came from Columbus, O. It was for the reverse of the coin only and was very like the conventional eagle design, which has been used with variations for so many years. But the Columbus man’s eagle had a very heavy load to carry. Not satisfied with tracking a ribbon over the top of some impossible mountains, he carried in his claws a shield, bunch of arrows, an olive branch, and a flag pole at the end of which floated the American flag. The committee probably thought that there was some danger that he would drop some of these while in circulation. For this or some other reason the design was not among those set aside for special commendation.

    Most noteworthy of the designs which were especially commended was a beautiful head of Liberty, the work of Pascal Caron of Providence, R.I. Mrs. Imogene Robinson Morrell of Washington presented a figure of Washington from her celebrated painting “Washington and his Generals.” J. Frenzel of New York presented an upright figure of Liberty with a shield in the left hand and in the right a banner bearing the word “Liberty.” In front of this figure were two children, one with helmet and sword, representing War, and the other typical of Peace. The reverse was an eagle with outspread wings. Miss C.H. Rimmer of Boston submitted a fine head of Washington surrounded by an oak wreath: the reverse, an eagle with folded wings under a field of stars. Axel E. Olsson of East Cambridge, Mass, sent in four designs which were highly commended. Two of them were Liberty heads, one full face and the other in profile. The third design was a figure of Liberty seated on a globe, the horn of plenty in her right hand, and her left arm resting on a ballot box, on which was the inscription “Vox Populi.” The fourth design was an eagle.

    The committee.” Mr. Leach said, “Recommends that I employ an artist and a modeler of established reputation, and pay him for getting up a set of designs. I will either do that or have my designer at the Philadelphia Mint get up a set of designs for me. Designing coin requires a special talent. In our designer at the Mint we have represented three generations of designers of coins. I am determined to beautify our coins. I got the bill authorizing the change in the design through the two Houses of Congress by my personal exertions, and I am going to carry out the law. There is no necessity for immediate action, however, and I may take a little time to decide exactly what course I will pursue. The popular competition has been a failure.”

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    "You Suck Award" - February, 2015

    Discoverer of 1919 Mercury Dime DDO - FS-101
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    RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice sleuthing, Mr. Holmes!

    ["(coidure?)" = coiffure. "“Vox Popuit” (?)" = vox populi [voice of the people]

    Here's the Chicago Tribune article:

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    RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What you've located give us the opportunity to match some contestants against descriptions of designs. The next very long step is to locate models or drawings in flea markets, estate sales, and 'jumbles' sales. :)

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    StrikeOutXXXStrikeOutXXX Posts: 3,350 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 6, 2017 4:33PM

    @RogerB said:
    What you've located give us the opportunity to match some contestants against descriptions of designs. The next very long step is to locate models or drawings in flea markets, estate sales, and 'jumbles' sales. :)

    Somewhere out there on the Internet is a post with a picture of a strange plaster item resembling a coin asking folks to help identify it. One would hope some of the plaster submissions survived - the one that was metal hopefully wasn't melted down to use for something else, and what are the odds the "cranky" submission in clay survived? - the hunt begins.

    This one: "One artist in Trenton, N.J., had had his models beautifully finished and mounted in wood with photographs of each tacked in the corner of the frame." might have survived, or perhaps the photographs somewhere.

    When I think of this one: Mrs. Imogene Robinson Morrell of Washington presented a figure of Washington from her celebrated painting “Washington and his Generals.” - along with the Washington Newspaper quote of "Washington on horseback"...

    Look at her painting:

    Now - it isn't as obvious as Nolan Ryan's picture on the '92 Olympics coin, but... I wonder if there is any connection or inspiration to the '82 Washington Commemorative?


    I flipped through Medallic Portraits of Washington real quick, and found and only found one reference to the list of names above:

    E.A. Kretschmann - Created Douglas 13/13A/13B - Equestrian Medal (1889)

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    "You Suck Award" - February, 2015

    Discoverer of 1919 Mercury Dime DDO - FS-101
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    RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great! That is much more than we knew or suspected 2 weeks ago. That is how research goes -- small steps, links from one thing to another or one image to another, persistent checking and cross referencing. Then, suddenly, the pieces fall into place and everyone says "Oh! That's neat. It's so obvious!"

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    StrikeOutXXXStrikeOutXXX Posts: 3,350 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yea, I'll never get to visit the archives and search in-person, so I'll have to live vicariously through you via what I can find on the Internet 8-).

    That Harpers Weekly link I sent you was interesting in the fact it mentions 11 artists were given the original invitation - not 10 as reported most other places:

    Augustus St. Gaudens
    J.Q.A. Ward
    Daniel C. French
    Olin Warner
    Herbert Adams
    Charles H. Nichaus
    Frederick MacMonnies
    Kenyon Cox
    Will H. Low
    H.S. Mowbray
    Miss Louise Lawson

    Also interesting was: "... unknown to these artists that about two thousand copies of the circular were sent out, to all artists, sculptors, engravers, and relief-designers in the United States whose addresses could be obtained by the Bureau of the Mint."


    One of the entrants ended life as a fairly prominent artist - Imogene Robinson Morrell, who was mentioned in those newspaper articles for her designs.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imogene_Robinson_Morrell

    It's a long shot, but if you ever decide to write a book on this contest and the participants - she has a folder at the Smithsonian that: "Folder(s) may include exhibition announcements, newspaper and/or magazine clippings, press releases, brochures, reviews, invitations, illustrations, resumes, artist's statements, exhibition catalogs." May have something in there pertaining to her entries?

    http://collections.si.edu/search/results.htm?view=&dsort=&date.slider=&q=imogene+morrell

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    "You Suck Award" - February, 2015

    Discoverer of 1919 Mercury Dime DDO - FS-101
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    RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great info! The NNP has a growing list of original US Mint documents available for searching right from your comfy chair. Not nearly as interesting as driving for an hour through dense traffic, waiting an hour or more to get the files and then discovering your were brought the wrong ones.....

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