Dear Mr. Jeppson:
In its meeting of 18 February, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the revised submission of alternative designs for two coins in the “America the Beautiful” series of circulating quarters and silver bullion coins. The Commission’s recommendations were as follows:
Effigy Mounds National Monument (Iowa). The Commission members continued to question the effectiveness of a pictorial image in conveying the subtlety and scale of the historic mounds on a small coin. They concluded that a more abstracted and diagrammatic representation would be preferable, and they therefore recommended the similar designs of alternatives #13 and #14. They noted the possible use of relief and detailing in the sculpting process for the coin to develop the distinctive form and texture of these landscape features.
Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty National Monument (New Jersey). The Commission members recommended alternative #6. They commented that the depiction of the family from the rear, as seen in several alternatives, has the benefit of generalizing the arrival experience beyond any particular immigrant group, resulting in a more powerful coin design. They also commented that the gesture of the outstretched hand is effective in conveying a sense of the family’s hope for the future. They acknowledged that the choice of the less-familiar Ferry Building as the background feature would avoid the complex issue of jurisdiction of Ellis Island which is shared by two states.
The Commission members appreciate the consideration of their previous comments and the opportunity to review the revised sets of design alternatives. As always, the staff is available to assist you with future submissions.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Principal Deputy Director
United States Mint
801 9th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20220