Dear Mr. Peterson:
In its meeting of 20 October, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the proposed reverse designs for the five America the Beautiful Quarters for issue in 2013. The Commission reiterated its previous concern regarding excessive design complexity for the small size of the quarter-dollar coin. The Commission's specific recommendations were as follows:
White Mountain National Forest (New Hampshire). The Commission recommended alternative #1 due to the simplicity of the composition.
Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial (Ohio). The Commission did not recommend any of the three submitted alternatives, citing the compositional problems in each of them: the complex layering of design elements in alternative #1 would be incomprehensible at the scale of the coin; the row of flags in alternative #2 has the effect of flattening the perspective view; and the large area of negative space in alternative #3 is unbalanced and excessive.
Great Basin National Park (Nevada). The Commission recommended alternative #1, citing the legibility of the composition with a single major design element.
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine (Maryland). The Commission did not recommend any of the submitted alternatives, criticizing the crowded compositions and excessive emphasis on the human figures rather than the fort itself. The Commission suggested consideration of an elevated or plan view of Fort McHenry that would convey its iconic five-sided shape.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial (South Dakota). The Commission recommended alternative #3 as the strongest design.
The Commission requests the submission of new alternatives for its review where none could be recommended. As always, the staff is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Richard A. Peterson, Deputy Director
United States Mint
801 9th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20220
cc: Kaarina Budow, U.S. Mint