I recently looked at a 1929 GAR Representative Badge on eBay and wrote the seller and asked her to identify the artist who did the bust. She wrote back "AA*KOLB" and gave me this website to go to. I had never come across Mr. Kolb before but will now be looking for his work. The University of Rochester has put together a very nice 10 page piece on his life and loves.Alphonse Anton Kolb was born near Heidelburg, Germany on December 5, 1893. As a child, Kolb discovered that he had a gift for modeling in clay. He studied art and sculpture in Munich, Germany and immigrated to the United States in 1913. Kolb became a US citizen in 1918.
He was a sculptor, designer, and engraver and worked for Bastian Brothers Co. striking metal dies for medals, plaques, and buttons for nearly 50 years. Kolb worked in clay, bronze, steel, wood, silver, and gold, and his works ranged in size from dime−size coins to plaques several feet high. His many works include designing and sculpting the medal for Rochester.s centennial in 1934, the medal commemorating the 1,000th meeting of the Rochester Numismatic Association, the medal marking the association.s 50th anniversary in 1962, and many others.
At the age of 65, he decided to retire. He and his second wife, Kathryn, traveled for a time, but after her death in 1968, he decided to return to work. "I can.t be without my work," Kolb said. "It.s the best thing for me."
Kolb was also a coin and medal collector and had a rose garden at his home. He was a lifetime member American Numismatic Association, the Rochester Numismatic Association, and the Albany Numismatic Society. As a member of the Rochester Numismatic Association, Kolb designed and struck dies for the medal awarded to the outgoing president of the organization bearing that person.s likeness. Kolb held this responsibility from 1920 to 1976, and was himself president of the organization in 1931.
The bronze plaque is signed in the lower left corner with "A. A. Kolb, SC," a mark which was common to much of Kolb.s work. The "SC" after his name stands for "Sculptor." There is no official record of the poem "Love.s Symphony," so it is assumed that the creator of the plaque is the author of the poem. The poem refers to the joy that love brings to one.s life. It seems an appropriate tribute from a husband to his wife.
To read the complete paper, see: Kolb Memorial (https://urresearch.rochester.edu/retrieve/327/kolb/pdf)
A web search turned up this image of a token or medal designed by Kolb for the 1946 American Numismatic Association convention in Davenport, Iowa. I'd never heard of this ANA item before. Does anyone have one of these? -Editor
Wayne Homren, Editor
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