The Glouchester Daily Times interviewed Daniel Altshuler about his design for the Barack Obama Official Presidential Inaugural Medal. -Editor Altshuler, who worked 13 years with noted 20th century sculptor Walker Hancock at his Lanesville studio, has unveiled his newest creation — a medal of President Elect Barack Obama.
Altshuler worked with Medallic Art Co., a mint in competition with other private mint companies in the United States, to produce the inaugural medal commemorating Obama's swearing-in on Tuesday as America's 44th president.
In the end, the choice came from a different direction. The Inaugural Medal Committee's marketing arm directly chose a team of sculptors to design the Obama medal instead of choosing one of the competitors' designs.
Two Gloucester sculptors have designed the official inaugural medal.
Paul Manship, (1885-1966) who lived in New York City and Gloucester, made the medal for John F. Kennedy in 1961. In addition to the handful of gold medals made, there were more than 53,000 bronze medals and 7,500 silver medals produced. Manship is known for his golden Prometheus statue at Rockefeller Center.
In 1953 when the Medallic Art Co. was chosen to strike the Eisenhower medal. It was designed by Hancock (1901-1998), who died at age 97 in Gloucester. The medals have been struck by private mints ever since.
Altshuler studied the art of medal-making under Hancock's tutelage.
"He insisted that I work in bas-relief because he believed this was critical to know," he said.
He was appointed to a two-year term to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, which guided the U.S. Mint in its redesign of the nickel to commemorate the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition and Louisiana Purchase.
So who was on this "team" of sculptors? Who (if anyone) really deserves the credit for the medal? If it really was a team effort, why did the Inaugural Committee name only Altshuler? -Editor
To read the complete article, see: Coining a president: Gloucester Sculptor competes in design challenge (http://www.gloucestertimes.com/punews/local_story_016222652.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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