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V15 2012 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 15, Number 41, September 30, 2012, Article 4

NEW BOOK: THE PRIVATE SKETCHBOOK OF GEORGE T. MORGAN

Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publishing forwarded this notice about a new book, The Private Sketchbook of George T. Morgan, America’s Silver Dollar Artist. Wow! Sounds great! -Editor

Sketchbook of George T. Morgan

Whitman Publishing, working with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, is releasing a historic new book: The Private Sketchbook of George T. Morgan, America’s Silver Dollar Artist. The 160-page hardcover volume will be available nationwide in late November 2012, and can be preordered online (including at www.Whitman.com). Its retail price is $29.95.

George T. Morgan was an artist—a sculptor and coin designer—in the late 1800s and early 1900s. One of his most famous works of art is instantly recognizable as an American classic: the Morgan silver dollar, minted in Philadelphia, New Orleans, Carson City, Denver, and San Francisco from the 1870s until 1921.

Today most collectors know Morgan as the father of this legendary silver coin. Some specialists are familiar with his designs for commemoratives and medals, and his significant work in U.S. pattern coins. But who exactly was George T. Morgan? Karen M. Lee, a curator of the National Numismatic Collection housed at the National Museum of American History, finally answers that intriguing question. Introducing Morgan’s never-before-published personal sketchbook, and with unique access to family photographs and documents, Lee reveals the man behind the coins.

The Private Sketchbook of George T. Morgan is an eye-opening immersion into what Lee calls the designer’s “life of art and labor.” Central to this beautifully illustrated volume are 80 pages of Morgan’s personal and professional sketchbook—the entirety of the creative journal that he carried from his native England to the United States in the 1870s—which is one of the treasures of the National Numismatic Collection. Morgan worked out his designs in this book not over weeks or months, not even simply for a few years, but over the course of nearly two decades. This sketchbook could easily have been lost to history over the nearly 100 years since Morgan died in 1925. Now brought to light for the first time, it shows us the creative process of one of America’s unsung artistic geniuses.

Contents include:

  • a foreword by Dr. Richard Doty, senior curator of the National Numismatic Collection
  • an in-depth historical background on Morgan’s life
  • family photographs, personal letters, and documents
  • behind-the-scenes correspondence from the U.S. Mint and Britain’s Royal Mint
  • analysis and interpretation of Morgan’s drawings
  • never-before-published images
  • an illustrated catalog of Morgan’s American numismatic works

The Private Sketchbook of George T. Morgan, America’s Silver Dollar Artist ∙ By Karen M. Lee on behalf of the Smithsonian Institution ∙ Hardcover, 160 pages, full color ∙ ISBN 0794838227 ∙ Retail $29.95

For more information, or to order, see: whitman.com/Inventory/Detail/The-Private-Sketchbook-of-George-T-Morgan
-Americas-Silver-Dollar-Artist+0794838227


Wayne Homren, Editor

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The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

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

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