Dick Johnson submitted the following comments on the upcoming Monuments Conservancy symposium honoring Marcel Jovine. Dick is one of the speakers, which include a host of numismatic luminaries. -Editor If you are in or near New York City Friday, March 20, 2009, you might want to attend a free Symposium on one of America's most creative coin and medal designers, Marcel Jovine. It takes place beginning at 9 am in the second floor auditorium, the Henry Luce Room, of the Time & Life Building at Rockefeller Center.
The entire morning is devoted to the artist's numismatic creations. Three speakers extol the medallic work of this famed artist: Donald Scarinci tells of his numismatic works within the field of art, particularly Jovine's three Society of Medalists issues; Dick Johnson talks of his 95 coins and medals -- he did eight U.S. commemorative coins for example -- and medals for fourteen medallic series, among his total genre.
Jovine's most famous medal, the American Numismatic Society's 125th Anniversary Medal, considered the 20th century's most outstanding work, is the subject of a talk written by Alan Stahl. His speech will be presented by George Cuhaj, both of whom were on the committee in 1983 which chose the medal design. Each of the speakers will be available for questions, a chance to learn some rare insight to the collector lore of these popular collectibles.
Afternoon speakers reveal the artist's exploits in the sculpture, design and toy field. Jovine was the inventor of the Visible Man, the Visible Woman, and the Visible Ford Model T.
I wrote about the artist previously in E-Sylum on his death in 2003 (vol 6, no 4, art 9, January 26, 2003). Attend if you can. Many numismatists well be there in the morning.
To read Dick's 20003 E-Sylum article, see: MEDALIST MARCEL JOVINE DIED THIS WEEK (http://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v06n04a09.html)
Below is an excerpt from the conference announcement. -Editor On Friday, March 20, 2009, The Monuments Conservancy will present its 19th Annual Symposium at the Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, 1271 Avenue of the Americas (at 50th Street), 2nd, floor, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. It is open free to the public. To reserve a seat call (212) 764-5645 Ext. 10, or e-mail SYMPOSIUM@NATIONALSCULPTURE.ORG.
This year, colleagues and friends will gather to pay homage to innovative artist MARCEL JOVINE, one of America’s most noted industrial and fashion designers, a medallist, and a sculptor of figures and thoroughbred horses. Among his accomplishments were the design and creation of such toys as the Blessed Event doll for the Ideal Toy Company (which grossed $1 million in the first year), and lifelike plastic figures illustrating popular fairy tales including The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Hansel and Gretel.
He was also responsible for the design of nearly 200 medals and commemorative coins, sculptures of thoroughbred racehorses like 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed, as well as a bust and a figurine of Affirmed’s famous jockey, Steve Cauthen.
In the 1960s, working with medical doctors, he produced the anatomically accurate Visible Man and Visible Woman, with removable organs. Drawing on scientific studies, he fashioned his Cosmorama, a working model of a planetarium. Each of these was revolutionary in the world of educational toys.
Born Marcello Iovine in Naples, Italy, in 1921 (he Anglicized his name when he came to America), he was reared by a childless aunt and uncle after his mother’s death. He was an avid reader, had an active imagination, and took pleasure in sketching and modeling the characters in the stories he read.
At the end of the war, Marcel and Angela married and moved to New York, where Marcel got work designing window displays for boutiques. He also freelanced, creating industrial and fashion design campaigns for some of New York’s major advertising agencies and department stores.
With the money he received from the success of the Blessed Event doll, the Jovines bought a spacious Victorian home in Closter, New Jersey, where he established his studio.
During his lifetime Marcel Jovine received many honors and awards, among them the J. Sanford Saltus Medal for Medallic Art from the American Numismatic Society, the Medal of Honor from the National Sculpture Society, the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus by the Savoy Orders, an Italian philanthropic society that dates from the 12th century. He won six competitions from the US Mint for commemorative coin designs, including the last three Olympiads.
Marcel Jovine might be looked upon as a true Renaissance Man. When the technology to produce an idea did not exist, he called upon his engineering expertise and sketching and modeling talents to invent it.
To read the complete article, see: REMEMBERING MARCEL JOVINE (http://closterboro.com/Documents/SAMUEL%20DORSK
The late Sam Pennington penned a great 2007 article about Jovine for the Maine Antique Digest. Illustrations for this E-Sylum article are borrowed from there. -Editor
To read the complete Maine Antique Digest article, see: Only in America: the Story of Medalist Marcel Jovine (www.maineantiquedigest.com/medals/medalscolumn6.htm)
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