Artist Name

birth9/23/1901 in Minneapolis, MNPicture of Hardin
death10/16/1989 in Old Saybrook, CT
parents
educationChicago Latin School
Art Institute of Chicago
Princeton University
awardsNational Academy's Saltus Medal (1945)
Daniel Chester French Medal (1964)
National Academy of Design Gold Medal

Adlai Stevenson Hardin is a descendent of Adlai E. Stevenson, vice-president of the United States under Grover Cleveland, and a first cousin of the 1952 and 1956 Democratic Presidential candidate of the same name. Born in Minneapolis, he grew up in Chicago. As a child, the future sculptor was fascinated by the carving of wood and became aware of the artistic possibilities of the craft when, at fifteen, he saw an exhibition of wooden sculpture at the Chicago Art Institute. He received his general education at the Chicago Latin School, taking drawing classes at the Art Institute on Saturdays. He went to Princeton where he was the art editor of both the Tiger and the Pictorial Campus Magazine. After a brief trip to Europe he eventually settled in New York. Although he pursued a full-time career in advertising for thirty-five years and rose to executive rank at William Esty Co., he maintained a studio and worked on sculpture in his free time.

True to his early interests, Hardin made a specialty of carving wood, concentrating on religious figures. Among his works are an oak relief of The Healers, and other works, for the Stamford (Conn.) Hospital; a walnut statue of Thomas Aquinas for the Aquinas Foundation, Princeton, N.J.; a limestone figure of The Student for the Princeton University Bookstore; and a panel in linden wood for the Interchurch, New York. He also has executed genre sculptures, such as Nova Scotia Fisherman (Collection, IBM) and Amishman (Collection, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts). Hardin has been the recipient of a number of awards including the National Academy's 1945 Saltus Medal for The Holy Family (cat. no. 24); the 1964 Daniel Chester French Medal for The Annunciation (cat. no. 54); the 1968 French Medal for Adam and Eve (cat. no. 38); and the NAD Gold Medal for Christ and the Doctors (cat. no. 26). He was elected president of the National Sculpture Society in 1957.

Adlai Hardin died at age 88 in 1989 in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.

You can click medals to switch between obverse and reverse sides.

75th Anniversary of Thos. Leeming & Co. 1956
ASH-TL
Bronze

This commissioned medal's obverse is based on figures from The Healers, an oaken bas relief Hardin created for the Stamford Hospital.

References: MACo 1956-009

Nativity 1960
by Adlai S. Hardin
SOM-62.1
Red-gold bronze with tan patina

This medal was chosen as the 62nd issue of the prestigious Society of Medalists series. The medal's obverse bears three sheperds looking up to heaven in prayer. At lower right, A.S.H. / ©. The reverse bears the Nativity scene. Mary and Joseph kneel at manger with the Christmas star burning brightly over the stable. Around, YE SHALL FIND THE BABE WRAPPED IN SWADDLING CLOTHES, AND LYING IN A MANGER.

The medal measures 73mm in diameter and was struck by the Medallic Art Company of New York. The reported mintage is 930 pieces in bronze.

SOM-62.1
Bronze
73.0mm (2.87in)
Red-gold bronze with tan patina
THE SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS 62ND ISSUE - NOV 1960 ADLAI HARDIN, SC.
MEDALLIC ART CO.N.Y. BRONZE
SOM-62.2
Bronze
73.0mm (2.87in)
Red-gold bronze with tan patina
THE SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS 62ND ISSUE - NOV 1960 ADLAI HARDIN, SC.
MEDALLIC ART CO.-DANBURY, CONN
Dallas Fort Worth Society of Visual Communications Award1970
ASH-SVC.1
Bronze
ASH-SVC.2
White Metal

This uniface medal's obverse bears two sculpted lips in the center, a disk above and concentric circles below. Around top, DALLAS FORT WORTH SOCIETY OF VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS; below, MEDAL AWARD

The medal has no signature or maker's mark.

This medal deserves the adjective "funky." When I showed it to my kids they all said: "Wow, what is that all about?" I like the medal for how unusual it is. The mouth probably symbolizes the "communications" aspect of the commissioning organization. The concentric circles might symbolize broadcasting and the disk at the top could be the sun from which we receive all the light that allows us to have visual arts or the eye that allows us to perceive it.

While the medal is unsigned and undated, according to Dick Johnson it is indeed designed by Hardin and struck by the Medallic Art Company. The Dallas Fort Worth Society of Visual Communications still exists under the name of Dallas Society of Visual Communications. The name on the medal was only in use briefly in the 1970s.

The medal measures approximately 88mm x 82mm and was struck by the Medallic Art Company in bronze and a white metal.

References: MACo 1970-044

Skylab 11973
SKY1.1
Bronze
SKY1.2
Silver

The obverse bears image of Skylab in orbit over planet Earth, stars in background. Under space laboratory, CREW / CHARLES CONRAD JR. - DR. JOSEPH P KERWIN / PAUL J WEITZ; At bottom, SKYLAB 1

The reverse bears two astronauts performing extravehicular activites over two students at planning table. In ring around, MAN'S INGENUITY CONQUERS SPACE / MAY 25 - JUNE 22 1973; in upper right, SOLAR / PANEL / REPAIR; over students, STUDENT EXPERIMENTS; signed at lower right, A - S - H / ©

The medal has maker's mark at 6:00, MEDALLIC ART CO.N.Y. BRONZE

Skylab was launched and operated by NASA and was the United States' first space station. Skylab orbited the Earth from 1973 to 1979, and included a workshop, a solar observatory, and other systems. It was launched unmanned by a modified Saturn V rocket, with a weight of 169,950 pounds (77 t). Three manned missions to the station, conducted between 1973 and 1974 using the Apollo Command/Service Module (CSM) atop the smaller Saturn IB, each delivered a three-astronaut crew. On the last two manned missions, an additional Apollo / Saturn IB stood by ready to rescue the crew in orbit if it was needed.

The station was damaged during launch when the micrometeoroid shield separated from the workshop and tore away, taking one of two main solar panel arrays with it and jamming the other one so that it could not deploy. This deprived Skylab of most of its electrical power, and also removed protection from intense solar heating, threatening to make it unusable. The first crew was able to save it in the first in-space major repair, by deploying a replacement heat shade and freeing the jammed solar panels.

This medal is the first in a series of three to commemorate the three manned missions to Skylab. The missions numbers really are off by one because technically Skylab 1 was the unmanned launch of the lab itself. The first manned mission should really be called Skylab 2 but the official numbering scheme never stuck.

The medal measures 62mm in diameter and was struck by the Medallic Art Company of New York.

References: MACo 1973-159

Skylab 21973
SKY2.1
Bronze

The obverse bears image of astronaut in space over globe with spiral cloud pattern. In two lines, along lower edge, SKYLAB 2 / CREW - ALAN I. BEAN, DR. OWEN K. GARRIOTT, JACK R. LOUSMA

The reverse bears top-down view of Skylab over land with overlaid grid pattern. Around, SKYLAB STUDIES EARTH'S RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT / JULY 28 - SEPTEMBER 26 1973.

The medal has maker's mark at 6:00, AMI BRONZE

Skylab was launched and operated by NASA and was the United States' first space station. Skylab orbited the Earth from 1973 to 1979, and included a workshop, a solar observatory, and other systems. It was launched unmanned by a modified Saturn V rocket, with a weight of 169,950 pounds (77 t). Three manned missions to the station, conducted between 1973 and 1974 using the Apollo Command/Service Module (CSM) atop the smaller Saturn IB, each delivered a three-astronaut crew. On the last two manned missions, an additional Apollo / Saturn IB stood by ready to rescue the crew in orbit if it was needed.

The second crew spent 59 days in space. Just as the first crew had to overcome unexpected troubles, the second crew was faced with difficulties as well. A thruster leak caused Bean's rendezvous with the station to be more challenging than expected. Once they were on board, a second thruster developed a leak. Plans were drawn up for a rescue, but the crew was able to complete the mission as planned.

Crew members performed many experiments related to the effects of microgravity on living organisms with the goal of a better understanding of the living and working aspects of life in space.

This medal is the second in a series of three to commemorate the three manned missions to Skylab. The missions numbers really are off by one because technically Skylab 1 was the unmanned launch of the lab itself. The first manned mission should really be called Skylab 2 but the official numbering scheme never stuck.

The medal measures 62mm in diameter and was struck in bronze and silver by Art Medals Inc. The mintage is not reported.

Skylab 31975
SKY3.1
Bronze

The obverse bears image of space-suited astronaut behind hub of solar sail. Above, SKYLAB 3 / CREW / GERALD P CARR - EDWARD G GIBSON / WILLIAM R POGUE; signed at left, A. S. HARDIN / © PAM 1975

The reverse is split into four sections around center. In center, image of comet labeled COMET / KOHOUTEK; in four segments astronauts with scientific equipment, labeled EQUILIBRIUM STUDIES; ULTRA-VIOLET STAR STUDY; SLEEP MONITORING; CONTAMINATION MEASUREMENT; around, SKYLAB CONCLUDES AN ERA of SCIENTIFIC SPACE RESEARCH / NOV.16.1973 - FEB.8.1974

The medal has maker's mark at 6:00, AMI BRONZE

Skylab was launched and operated by NASA and was the United States' first space station. Skylab orbited the Earth from 1973 to 1979, and included a workshop, a solar observatory, and other systems. It was launched unmanned by a modified Saturn V rocket, with a weight of 169,950 pounds (77 t). Three manned missions to the station, conducted between 1973 and 1974 using the Apollo Command/Service Module (CSM) atop the smaller Saturn IB, each delivered a three-astronaut crew. On the last two manned missions, an additional Apollo / Saturn IB stood by ready to rescue the crew in orbit if it was needed.

The all-rookie astronaut crew had problems adjusting to the same workload level as their predecessors when activating the workshop. Things got off to a bad start after the crew attempted to hide Pogue's early space sickness from flight surgeons, a fact discovered by mission controllers after downloading onboard voice recordings. The crew's initial task of unloading and stowing the thousands of items needed for their lengthy mission also proved to be overwhelming. The schedule for the activation sequence dictated lengthy work periods with a large variety of tasks to be performed, and the crew soon found themselves tired and behind schedule.

As the activation of Skylab progressed, the astronauts complained of being pushed too hard. Ground crews disagreed; they felt that the astronauts were not working long enough or hard enough. During the course of the mission, this culminated in a radio conference to air frustrations. Following this, the workload schedule was modified, and by the end of their mission the crew had completed even more work than had been planned before launch. The experiences of the crew and ground controllers provided important lessons in planning subsequent manned spaceflight work schedules.

On December 13, the crew sighted Comet Kohoutek and trained the solar observatory and hand-held cameras on it. They gathered spectra on it using the Far Ultraviolet Camera/Spectrograph. They continued to photograph it as it approached the Sun. On December 30, as it swept out from behind the Sun, Carr and Gibson spotted it as they were performing a spacewalk.

The crew also photographed the Earth from orbit. Despite instructions not to do so, the crew (perhaps inadvertently) photographed Area 51, causing a minor dispute between various government agencies as to whether the photographs showing this secret facility should be released. In the end, the picture was published along with all others in NASA's Skylab image archive, but remained unnoticed for years.

This medal is the third in a series of three to commemorate the three manned missions to Skylab. The missions numbers really are off by one because technically Skylab 1 was the unmanned launch of the lab itself. The first manned mission should really be called Skylab 2 but the official numbering scheme never stuck.

The medal measures 62mm in diameter and was struck in bronze and silver by Art Medals Inc. The mintage is not reported.

The Allston Family 1983
BG-11
Golden bronze

This was the eleventh of the prestigious Brookgreen Gardens member medals, issued in 1983.

The obverse bears William and Rachel Allston walking in front of their Brookgreen Plantation home. Above, 1739 - WILLIAM ALLSTON - 1781 / PLANTATION OWNER; in exergue, BROOKGREEN GARDENS / SOUTH CAROLINA

The reverse bears Washington Allston seated at his easel, pallette and brush in hand. Around, 1779 WASHINGTON ALLSTON 1843 - DISTINGUISHED PAINTER

The medal measures 76mm in diameter and was produced by the Medallic Art Company.

  • Statue of a young fisherman

    Nova Scotia Fisherman (1939)

    The sculpture depicts a young fisherman sitting on a bronze pile.

    A larger and uncropped version of this image is available at brookgreen.org. Image courtesy of the Museum.

  • Oaken bas relief

    The Healers (?)

    An oaken bas relief carving approximately 15 inches by 22 inches in size. Hardin created this relief for the Stamford, Connecticut Hospital.

    This image is reproduced from the American Artist article listed in the Resources section.

Contact me if you have links that might merit inclusion on this page.

Books & Articles

American Art Medals, 1909-1995 by David Thomason Alexander
David T. Alexander's book can be purchased at the above link. Highly recommended for anyone interested in SOM. I am deeply indebted to him for all the information I used to document the SOM medals on this site.
The Sculpture of Adlai Hardin
Archive entry for article in American Artist, December 1960, Vol. 24 Issue 10, p50. Defunct link to full text.

Research Archives and Websites

Dick Johnson's Databank
Hardin's page on Johnson's site.
National Academy Museum
Short biography.
Princeton Alumni Weekly Volume 35
Short piece on Adlai Hardin.
Princeton Alumni Weekly Volume 63
Reference to a "magnificent commemorative sculpture in the Bowling Green Branch of the Seamen's Bank for Savings in the new RCA Building, Beaver and New Sts., New York City."
Princeton Alumni Weekly 1989
Obituary from his classmates, Princeton '23.
Smithsonian Institute
Links to images on file.

Museums

Brookgreen Gardens
The Nova Scotia Fisherman is located at Brookgreen Gardens.
New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT
Reported to have art by Hardin. No concrete information.
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Amish Man, a sculpture finished in 1938.
Salvation Army Museum, Basel, CH
The General William Booth medal from the Great Religions series.