Dear Ms. Gibson:
In its public meeting of 15 September conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed alternative reverse designs for two of the non- circulating one-dollar coins of the American Innovation series to be issued in 2024. The Commission provided the following comments and recommendations:
Maine. For the theme of Dr. Bernard Lown, inventor of the direct current defibrillator and a leader in public health and nuclear non-proliferation, the Commission recommended alternative ME-01, consistent with the preference of the governor’s office. They cited the dignity of this design, particularly with the three-quarter profile portrait and the avoidance of depicting a heart or defibrillator, which would narrow the focus of the design to the exclusion of his broader contributions. They suggested consideration of a serif font for the inscriptions.
Missouri. For the theme of agricultural scientist George Washington Carver, the Commission members did not recommend any of the designs as submitted. They encouraged development of alternative MO-01, featuring a profile portrait of Dr. Carver with several plant and scientific images related to his work; they commented that the strong portrait conveys a sense of personality as well as his Black identity. However, they did not support the compositional treatment of the back of Dr. Carver’s head, which is expanded to encompass several images within a background of soil; instead, they recommended a more complete treatment of his head within a design that still conveys that the agricultural innovations were the product of his intellect. They requested the opportunity to review a revised design, based on alternative MO-01, that responds to their comments.
As always, the staff is available to assist you with future submissions.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Ventris C. Gibson, Director
United States Mint
801 9th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20220