By David T. Alexander and Dr. David Menchell …..
Highlighting its educational mission for more than three decades, the American Numismatic Association (ANA) has offered its Summer Seminars at its headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Classes have developed around a wide variety of themes, from American coin grading to Ancient coins, U.S. paper money to numismatics of the Western Gold Rush, world coins to counterfeit detection, all taught by notable experts in each field.
In 2015, the world of the medal was added to the Summer Seminar roster. Acting as instructors were David Thomason Alexander and Dr. David Menchell, both recognized leaders in the art and history of the medal since its emergence in the Renaissance and its spread from Italy across Europe before crossing the ocean to the infant United States in the 1780s. Beginning as an outgrowth of the great art of sculpture, the medal became an intrinsic element of the world of numismatic collecting.
The 2018 Seminar will zero in on “The Medal in America, Part 2”, giving particular attention to 19th- and 20th-century medals of the U.S. Mint’s national and Congressional medal series, official Inaugural Medals of U.S. Presidents since 1889, the rich panorama of exhibition medals since the mid-19th century, and the increasingly popular field of so-called dollars.
The course will define and examine medals produced by private manufacturers such as Tiffany, Gorham and Medallic Art Company and such latter-day phenomena as the Franklin Mint. Important medal series will be reviewed, including the Society of Medalists and the Hall of Fame for Great Americans. The class will discuss art trends such as Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Modernism, and contemporary and current movements and their effects on American medallic sculpture.
Important artists and their work will be studied, from George T. Morgan and John R. Sinnock to Frank Gasparro at the Philadelphia Mint. Medals of Augustus Saint Gaudens, Bela Lyon Pratt, Alexander and Robert Weinman, Laura Gardin Fraser and their contemporaries will be reviewed, along with the works of contemporary medalists such as Alex Shagin, Joel Iskowitz and Eugene Daub.
Specimens of all these sculptors’ medals will be on display, drawn from the collections of the ANA museum and instructors Alexander and Menchell. The role of medal organizations will be discussed, notably Medal Collectors of America (MCA), of which both instructors are past presidents; American Medallic Sculpture Association (AMSA) and the Token and Medal Society (TAMS).
The number of students admitted to the class is severely limited. Those wishing to attend are urged to contact Seminar Manager Amber Bradish at (719) 482-9865 or www.money.org/summer-seminar. before May 1 for details on costs and to place reservations.