In an earlier issue I inquired about the status of the official Barack Obama Presidential Inaugural medal. At that time no decisions had been announced and the Inaugural Committee seemed to be completely incommunicado.
Well, about 5pm today the committee published an email press release announcing the online opening of "the official Presidential Inaugural Store":
In just 16 days, Barack Obama and Joe Biden will be sworn in as President and Vice President of the United States, opening a new chapter in our shared story. You can own an enduring piece of American history by visiting the official Inaugural Store today.
One of the items for sale is a bronze "medallion", priced at $60. Although there is an image of the medallion, there is no information on its size, finish or other important numismatic details. I suspected it's really a medal, not a large size medallion. Here's what the site says:
The 2009 Presidential Inaugural medallion is meticulously sculpted in solid bronze by Marc Mellon. The front shows Barack Obama. On the opposite side is the Presidential Inaugural Seal. Includes wood base and a certificate of authenticity. Note - Medallions will not ship until Jan. 10th.
For more information on the Obama Inaugural medal, see: The 2009 Presidential Inaugural medallion (http://pic2009.inauguralcollectibles.com/optimizer/product/J0401.html)
What, no silver (or gold) versions? For more information I sought out the sculptor's web site. The diameter is 2.75 inches. Only the obverse was deisgned by Mellon - former U.S. Mint engraver Tom Rogers designed the reverse. The medals are being struck by the Medalcraft Mint of Green Bay, WI.
Marc Mellon’s obverse (front) design for the 2009 Official Barack Obama Presidential Inaugural Medal was recently approved by the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee. The Official Presidential Inaugural Medal has a history going back to the time of Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.
The series is widely collected, and considered to be an important part of the art history of America. Proceeds from the sale of the 2-3/4” medal will help make the inaugural events open to as many people as possible, as we commemorate the day Barack Obama takes office as the 44th President of the United States.
Marc Mellon is one of America's foremost representational sculptors, well known for his portrait busts, commemorative statues, and other works in bronze exploring the worlds of dance, sport, and family life.
Schooled to pursue the sciences, Mellon left pre-medical studies for the study of history and philosophy before discovering art as a vehicle to embrace all of his interests. From the start he enjoyed the challenge of conveying something of the inner life of his subjects, multi-faceted portrait busts, dance and sports sculptures in balance and motion, and strong figures of women that project a modern female sensuality.
I was unaware of Marc Mellon before reading this announcement, but he has a very impressive body of work, including the 2003 Brookgreen Gardens medal. Be sure to check out his web site. Here's an image of him at work on the plaster model for the Obama obverse.
For more information on sculptor Marc Mellon, see: Marc Mellon Studio (http://www.mellonstudio.com/)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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