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V13 2010 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 13, Number 43, October 24, 2010, Article 5

NEW BOOK: AMERICAN ART MEDALS, 19091995

Megan Fenselau of the American Numismatic Society forwarded this announcement of an important new book by David Alexander. -Editor

Alexander American Art Medals 1909-1995 American Art Medals, 19091995 is the first comprehensive study of the two most important series of art medals produced in the United States: the medals of the Circle of Friends of the Medallion (19091915) and those of the Society of Medalists (19301995). Together, these two series offer an unmatched panorama of American medallic sculpture in the twentieth century.

Founded by the art writer Charles de Kay and the collector Robert Hewitt, Jr., the Circle of Friends of the Medallion issued only twelve medals in its brief existence. Occurring, however, at a time when the Beaux-Arts movement had brought medallic art to a higher prominence among sculptors than it has enjoyed before or since, the series is of great significance for the development of the American art medal.

The Society of Medalists, during its life of sixty-six years, produced a much more extensive series: 128 regular issues (one of which includes six separate pieces), as well as four special issues designed for the Society (and one other special issue of an already existing medal). This body of work showcases the development of diverse artistic styles among figurative sculptors of the twentieth century, from classicism to modernism. The 123 sculp- tors whose work was presented in this series include almost every major American medalist of the era as well as several notable artists from other countries.

In addition to cataloguing the issues of these two medallic art organizations, this book features an innovative effort to record the different colors and patinas in which the medals were issued. Especially for the Society of Medalists, whose long history meant that different production batches of a particular medal might have been made several decades apart, this hitherto neglected dimension in the study of art medals shows how changes in the surface finish can yield truly startling variations in the visual impact of a design.

American Art Medals, 1909-1995
by David T. Alexander
hardcover, illus.
ISBN-13: 978-0-89722-317-1
List price: $150 (plus S&H)
Member price: $105 (plus S&H)
Pre-order price: $95 (plus S&H)

SPECIAL PRE-ORDER PRICE ON ORDERS PLACED BY JANUARY 15, 2011

For more information, or to order, see: www.numismatics.org/Store/ArtMedals

Wayne Homren, Editor

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To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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