Dear Mr. Motl:
In its meeting of 20 September, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed alternative reverse designs for the five “America the Beautiful” coins to be issued in 2019 as circulating quarters and silver bullion coins. The Commission was pleased to take into consideration the preferences of the liaison and of the Mint’s Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) for each site. The Commission’s recommendations were as follows:
Lowell National Historical Park (Massachusetts). The Commission recommended alternative #16, consistent with the preferences of the liaison and the CCAC. The Commission members commented that this composition—depicting a woman working at an industrial textile machine, with iconic features of the Lowell factories seen through the window behind—conveys a compelling combination of historical themes associated with this site. They commented that the proximity of the woman’s hand to the machinery is unfortunately reminiscent of the history of worker injuries in the textile industry, and they suggested adjusting the pose to avoid this implication.
American Memorial Park (Northern Mariana Islands). The Commission recommended alternative #1, consistent with the preference of the liaison and the CCAC. The Commission members supported the CCAC suggestion to enlarge the two figures at the right side of the composition, and they requested further refinement in the depiction of the flags at the left, possibly reducing their size in order to rebalance the composition.
War in the Pacific National Historical Park (Guam). The Commission members recommended alternative #2, consistent with the site liaison’s preference, and with the request to refine the depiction of the palm trees in the background. They also expressed support for alternative #3, the preference of the CCAC, citing in particular the sinuous configuration of the background water between the ships and the beach, although they were not satisfied with the depiction of the two soldiers. They suggested the possible combination of the foreground of the flag-raising soldier in alternative #2 with the background composition of alternative #3.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (Texas). The Commission members recommended alternative #3-B, consistent with the preference of the CCAC. They commented that this alternative is superior to the other similar compositions due to the separation of the central cross from the coin’s border. They recommended further study of the lower three waves in the emblem representing water in the lower right portion of the design, commenting that these waves need not be identical and are not as successful as the topmost wave in conveying a sense of water.
Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness (Idaho). The Commission members recommended alternative #4, consistent with the preference of the Mint’s site liaison. They supported the concept of depicting wolves in their natural wilderness habitat, and they suggested further refinement of the depiction of the wolf in the foreground to convey its strength and focus in approaching the stream.
As always, the staff is available to assist you with future submissions.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Acting Deputy Director
United States Mint
801 9th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20220