Dear Mr. Jeppson:
In its meeting of 15 October, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed alternative reverse designs for the five “America the Beautiful” coins for issue in 2017 as circulating quarters and silver bullion coins. The Commission’s recommendations were as follows:
Effigy Mounds National Monument (Iowa). The Commission members did not recommend any of the submitted alternatives. They suggested exploration of a different framing of an aerial view, such as in alternatives #4, 4-A, and 4-B, to convey the larger grouping of mounds extending beyond the design’s edge. They also requested a more careful depiction of the mounds to convey their rounded shape.
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (District of Columbia). The Commission members recommended alternative #4 for its strong depiction of both Douglass and his house, Cedar Hill. They commented that this dual emphasis maintains a focus on the historic site and also avoids the ambiguity of a double-headed coin in combination with the continuing obverse featuring the portrait of George Washington.
Ozark National Scenic Riverways (Missouri). The Commission supported alternative #4, citing the use of trees to frame the scene of the historic mill and stream in conveying the setting of the Ozarks.
Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty National Monument (New Jersey). The members of the Commission recommended alternative #1, commenting that it best illustrates the history and setting of Ellis Island by including an immigrant family and a view of the water of New York harbor.
George Rogers Clark National Historic Site (Indiana). The Commission recommended alternative #5 for its strong composition and evocation of the harsh weather and conditions endured by Clark and his troops in his 1779 capture of Vincennes during the Revolutionary War.
As always, the staff is available to assist you with future submissions.
Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Principal Deputy Director
United States Mint
801 9th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20220