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The E-Sylum:  Volume 3, Number 12, March 19, 2000, Article 8

JOHNSON COMPILES AN 'AMERICAN FORRER' 

   Dick Johnson (who writes under the name D. Wayne Johnson) 
   is nearing completion of a work on all the artists, engravers, 
   diesinkers, sculptors and medalists in America.   Johnson was the 
   founding editor of Coin World and later the director of research 
   at Medallic Art Co (where he created the firm's archives and 
   cataloged more than 5,000 of the firm's medallic productions). 

   The work contains data on more than 2,800 American artists in 
   a databank that is the equivalent of 1,200 pages. Each artist's 
   entry contains brief biographical data, a listing of every 
   documented coin and medal the artist created, numismatic 
   citations, appearances in auction sales, museum collections 
   which contain the item, and references to the artist and the 
   items in numismatic and biographical literature. 

   The author has found a publisher of high quality art reference 
   books, Sound View Press, of Madison, Connecticut, which has 
   set tentative plans for publishing this work later this year. 

   "I examined Forrer's Dictionary of Medalists and tried to 
   overcome Forrer's shortcomings," Johnson  writes. "I list the 
   items in tabular form and group similar items together, all 
   coins together, all medals in series together, etc.  In all there 
   are 25 categories. 

   "What was surprising, however, was the need to separate out 
   restrikes and reissues, since the art of one item would be used 
   later in another form. An example is Adolph A. Weinman's 
   Liberty Walking design on the 1916 half dollar appearing later 
   on bullion coins. This always occurred after the death of the 
   artist, requiring extensive research on artist's vital data, his date 

   of death being most important. 

   "I also learned one very important fact -- eighty percent of 19th 
   century American diestruck pieces are unsigned and their 
   creators are unknown.  Thus I welcome anyone's contribution 
   of information on the work of any American diesinker engraver 
   that documents unsigned items.  I am making every effort to 
   make this book as comprehensive, complete and accurate as 
   possible." 

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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