Dear Mr. Peterson:
In its meeting of 18 September, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the proposed designs for the ninth and tenth sets of ten-dollar gold coins and associated medals in the First Spouse series, to be issued in 2015 and 2016. The Commission's recommendations were as follows:
Bess Truman. The Commission members recommended obverse alternative #2 as the most dignified portrait. For the reverse, they supported the theme of the whistle-stop train campaign if it can be depicted clearly; they commented that a simplified version of alternative #3 could be the most satisfactory if the foreground banners are removed.
Mamie Eisenhower. The Commission recommended obverse alternative #5 as the best likeness and a pleasing portrait. The Commission recommended alternative #3 for the reverse as a simple design that refers to her involvement in the presidential campaigns.
Jacqueline Kennedy. The Commission members recommended obverse alternative #8 and commented that most of the alternatives inadequately capture her appearance. For the reverse, they supported the theme of the arts as in alternative #5 but suggested a more dignified and less cartoonish composition; they also offered some support for alternative #2 if the theme of alternative #5 cannot be developed adequately.
Lady Bird Johnson. The Commission recommended the portrait of Mrs. Johnson in alternative #3, but with a more characteristic depiction of her hair as in alternative #5. For the reverse, the Commission recommended alternative #1 with the modification to reduce the scale of the Jefferson Memorial to give increased prominence to the text.
Pat Nixon. The Commission members recommended obverse alternative #5 as the best portrait. For the reverse, they recommended alternative #3 as potentially the best alternative if refined; they cited the area across the mid−ground of the design as a confusing and poorly rendered combination of design elements, particularly the White House awning and the figure of Mrs. Nixon.
Betty Ford. The Commission recommended obverse alternative #2 as the best portrait, commenting that her appearance is less recognizable in several alternatives. For the reverse, the Commission recommended alternative #6 with the replacement of the text with "Shedding Light" as shown in alternative #5.
As always, the staff is available to assist you with future submissions.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Richard A. Peterson, Deputy Director
United States Mint
801 9th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20220