Dear Mr. Moy:
In its meeting of 15 May, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed alternatives for the reverses of the District of Columbia and U.S. territories circulating quarters to be minted in 2009. The Commission's recommendations were as follows:
District of Columbia:
The Commission emphasized its role in advising on the design rather than selecting among the alternative themes, all of which they considered to be meritorious. However, the Commission members commented that the complexity of all three alternatives would be difficult to appreciate at the scale of a quarter; they requested that the design alternatives be reworked in a new submission where the image of the subject depicted is slightly larger within a simpler overall composition.
The Commission recommended alternative #2, commenting that the sentry box from the fortifications of old San Juan provides the more simple and legible composition for a coin design and as a representation of the island's history.
The Commission recommended alternative #2 as the simplest and most successful composition. Noting that the multitude of design features would be difficult to understand at the scale of a quarter, the Commission requested that this alternative be simplified further to eliminate some of the background elements and to emphasize the image of the boat, which could then be enlarged to improve its legibility.
The Commission members recommended alternative #1 for its image of a Samoan in traditional dress; they also commented that the elements depicting vegetation arranged around the central figure would be difficult to understand at the scale of a quarter and should be eliminated.
U. S. Virgin Islands:
The Commission recommended alternative #2 showing the three women representing the islands. However, the Commission members suggested that the island maps be eliminated and the depiction of the women be enlarged as the primary design feature.
Northern Mariana Islands:
The Commission members did not support any design as presented, commenting that all were too visually complicated for the scale of a quarter. They requested the submission of new design alternatives, suggesting that design #1, featuring a latte stone, could be used as a starting point in developing a simplified proposal.
As always, the staff is available to assist you with future submissions.
Thomas E. Luebke, AIA
Edmund C. Moy, Director
United States Mint
801 9th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20220
cc: Kaarina Budow, U.S. Mint