CFA 17/JAN/08-1

Project name
Congressional Gold Medal for Michael Ellis DeBakey
U.S. Department of the Treasury
U.S. Mint
Design for a gold medal and bronze duplicates
Review Type


Dear Mr. Moy:

In its meeting of 17 January, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the proposed design for the Congressional Gold Medal honoring Dr. Michael DeBakey. In fulfilling its role under legislation and executive order to advise on the design of medals and coins, the Commission raised concerns about the process for development and review of this proposal as only one design was presented and the elements of that design appear to have been determined by the medal's recipient. The Congressional Gold Medal is a national honor bestowed at public expense; its design should be of the highest artistic quality.

Notwithstanding these concerns, the Commission made specific recommendations regarding the medal's design. On the obverse, the background figures shown in surgical clothing should be refined; in particular, the head of the far right figure has a distorted appearance. On the reverse, the Commission commented that the design is compromised by too many elements, recommending that the latitude and longitude grid lines be eliminated and that the text be placed around the perimeter of the reverse, eliminating the ribbon.

The Commission looks forward to review of future submissions from the Mint that express the highest design standards for our nation's medals and coins. As always, the staff is available to assist you with future submissions.



Thomas E. Luebke, AIA

Edmund C. Moy, Director
United States Mint
801 9th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20220

cc: Kaarina Budow, U.S. Mint