Dear Mr. Ryder:
In its meeting of 20 June, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the proposed design for a Congressional Gold Medal to honor Steve Gleason, a noted athlete and advocate for people living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Consistent with the preferences of Mr. Gleason and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, the Commission members recommended obverse alternative #7 and reverse alternative #3. They acknowledged the revisions as suggested by Mr. Gleason for reverse #3, including a downward shift of the Pacific Northwest river scene to allow for more sky and a larger moon, the elimination of the “Act of Congress” phrase that would duplicate the text on the selected obverse, and the repositioning of the phrase “Keep Exploring” to an arc at the bottom of the medal. They suggested careful study of the proportions as the landscape scene is shifted, commenting that the composition should not have equal areas of sky and water. They also requested improved detailing of the river surface to convey a sense of rippling water flowing around rocks, and they requested improved artistry for the rocks themselves and the receding layers of landforms. They also observed that the presented design of mixed upper- and lower-case letters in the phrase “Keep Exploring” would become awkward in relation to the medal’s edge when the text is repositioned; they suggested consideration of using upper case for all of the letters.
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