Dear Mr. Ryder:
In its public meeting of 19 November conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed design alternatives for two additional medals in the Hidden Figures Congressional Gold Medal program. The Commission provided the following recommendations.
Dr. Christine Darden. Consistent with the preferences of Dr. Darden and of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, the Commission members recommended obverse #24 and reverse #5. Noting the repetition of inscriptions with this pairing, they suggested removing Ms. Darden’s name from the reverse, while keeping it on the obverse; and they suggested removing the phrase “Perceive, Plan, Prepare, Persist” from the obverse, while keeping the obverse’s reference “P4” as a link to the full phrase on the reverse. They also suggested eliminating the reverse’s border ring of stars symbolizing Dr. Darden’s years of service, and instead conveying this information directly with numeric text; these recommended revisions would allow for enlarging the central scientific diagram that is the focus of the design. They also requested coordination of the fonts for the obverse and reverse, preferably using the serif font seen in reverse alternative #16.
Katherine Johnson. Consistent with the preferences of Ms. Johnson’s family and of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, the Commission members recommended obverse #7 and reverse #8, endorsing an emphasis on Ms. Johnson’s mathematical work. They commented that reverse #8 is a very unusual composition for a medal, but they concluded that it would be appropriate for the subject matter of lunar landing missions; they also expressed support for reverse #6 for its compositional and pictorial beauty. They suggested enlarging the perimeter text for reverse #8 to improve its legibility, and establishing a stronger sense of hierarchy within the composition; they requested coordination of the fonts on the obverse and reverse faces of the medal.
As always, the staff is available to assist you with future submissions.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
David Ryder, Director
United States Mint
801 9th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20220