Dear Mr. Ryder:
In its public meeting of 20 May conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed alternative reverse designs for the four non-circulating one-dollar coins of the American Innovation series to be issued in 2023. The Commission was pleased to take into consideration the preferences of the governor’s office for each state and of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, and provided the following comments and recommendations.
Ohio. Consistent with the preference of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, the Commission members recommended reverse #1 with the theme of the Underground Railroad, citing the evocative metaphor of the human chain pulling toward freedom as being stronger than the metal chain of bondage. They described reverse #1 as a strong and dramatic composition, while also commenting favorably on the entire set of presented designs.
Louisiana. The Commission members recommended reverse #8 with the theme of the Higgins boat, citing the strong composition; they commented that people will readily understand that the boat would have been filled with troops. They acknowledged that some modifications may be required for historical accuracy, and they recommended adding the inscription “Higgins boat” to the composition.
Indiana. The Commission members recommended reverse #6 with the theme of the automobile industry, commenting that it is the most interesting composition and could be sculpted to convey a strong sense of depth. To provide context for the racing car, they suggested adding either a driver with goggles or a car mechanic.
Mississippi. Consistent with the thematic preference of the governor’s office, the Commission members recommended reverse #11 with the theme of the first human lung transplant, citing the powerful simplicity of the design and the beautiful depiction of the lungs. They suggested further simplifying and abstracting the serpent in the Rod of Asclepius motif in order to provide greater emphasis on the lungs as the focus of the composition.
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