John Mercanti will receive the David Rittenhouse Award for his decades of service and outstanding work as the 12th Chief Engraver of the US Mint
Calling John Mercanti an “important but somewhat unsung American artist,” the Board of Directors of Historic RittenhouseTown located in Fairmount Park, will be awarding the 2017 David Rittenhouse Award at its annual gala in May.
“The David Rittenhouse Award honors those who demonstrate excellence as it represents one of the many contributions that Rittenhouse made to American History,” said Barbara Rittenhouse, Board President. “David Rittenhouse was an amazing man. In his lifetime, he was an astronomer, inventor, mathematician, surveyor and the successor to Benjamin Franklin as President of the American Philosophical Society. We reserve this prestigious award for those who’ve contributed their talents at the highest level to our nation.”
John Mercanti produced more coins and medal designs than any other employee in the history of the U.S. Mint. Among his works (in addition to the iconic American Silver Eagle) are gold and silver commemorative coins honoring the Olympic Games, the Statue of Liberty, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Louis Armstrong, Helen Hayes; five circulating 50 State Quarters and numerous commemorative and bullion medals.
Born in Philadelphia, Mercanti received his artistic training at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, The Philadelphia College of Arts and the Fleisher Art Memorial School.
Previous recipients of the David Rittenhouse Award have included Derrick Pitts, Chief Astronomer and Planetarium Director of the Franklin Institute; Keith Thompson, Executive Officer of the American Philosophical Society; and Owen Gingrich, professor emeritus of astronomy and of the history of science at Harvard University and a senior astronomer emeritus at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.
The award, which will be part of a year-long celebration of the 225th anniversary of David Rittenhouse being named the first Director of the US Mint, will be presented to Mr. Mercanti on May 17, 2017 at a reception and dinner at the Merion Cricket Club for his decades of service and outstanding work as the 12th Chief Engraver/Sculptor of the United States Mint.
Historic RittenhouseTown, a National Historic Landmark District, is an authentic 18th-century early industrial village and site of British North America’s first paper mill. Six Rittenhouse structures survive including David Rittenhouse’s birthplace, the 1707 Rittenhouse Homestead.
For further information, please contact Chris Owens, Executive Director, Historic RittenhouseTown at (215) 378-3281 or [email protected].