American Art Medals, 1909-1995: The Circle of Friends of the Medallion and The Society of Medalists

Hardback
American Art Medals, 1909-1995 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 (1909-1915) and those of the Society of Medalists (1930-1995). 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 66 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 20th century, from classicism to modernism. The 123 sculptors whose work was presented in this series include almost every major American medallist of the era as well as several notable artists from other countries. In addition to cataloguing the issues of these two medallic art organisations, this book features an innovative effort to record the different colours and patinas in which the medals were issued.