Dear Mr. Ryder:
In its public meeting of 18 March conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed alternative designs for a Congressional Gold Medal honoring the U.S. Merchant Mariners of World War II and provided the following comments and recommendations.
The Commission members recommended obverse alternative #6 and reverse alternative #8, consistent with the preferences of the Mint’s liaison organization for this medal, the U.S. Maritime Administration. They commented that the composition of obverse #6 focuses on those who served in the Merchant Marine—fulfilling the honorific purpose of the medal—within a dynamic composition that shows depth and intensity. For reverse #8, they commented that this alternative conveys a sense of wartime danger through the depiction of a convoy at sea, and it is composed well by using an aerial view and elevated horizon line. They also expressed support for the simplicity of inscriptions that results from this pairing.
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