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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 49, December 3, 2006, Article 21

JOESPH MENNA: DESIGNER OF WASHINGTON AND JEFFERSON DOLLAR COIN PORTRAITS

On November 29th Philadelphia Inquirer published an interview with
Joseph Menna, designer of the portraits of George Washington and
Thomas Jefferson on the new dollar coins.

"When studying sculpture in Russia 10 years ago, Joseph Menna found
his muse in a George Washington quarter.

The bond came from his longing for home and a pursuit of the perfect
relief sculpture.

Now, his portrait of Washington is set to grace the front of the
first in a series of presidential dollar coins.

"It's a head trip," said the soft-spoken South Jersey native, now
an employee of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. "Designing Washington,
that's the signature for me."

"Menna, 36, is not worried about the coins' performance - even against
the still-popular paper bills.

"For him, his designs symbolize arrival at a destination he began as
a child in Blackwood. He always wanted to be an artist, he said, and
started honing his interest and skills after a stint at a summer arts
program during high school."

"When the agency announced the presidential dollar program, Menna
was assigned to draw James Madison - but he worked on the Washington
and Jefferson coins on the side.

Ironically, his Madison design never made the cut. But he does not
mourn it.

"It's such a great honor to design the first presidential coin," he
said. "I still can't get my mind around it."

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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