Artist Name

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

United States National Bank of Portland1929
AF-1
Bronze

The obverse bears vital male bust right, cartwheel border with incuse FAITH IN MAN AND HIS WORKS; signed on right, Avard / Fairbanks / Sc / 1929

The reverse bears sculptor-craftsman gazing at bank. Around, THE UNITED STATES NATIONAL BANK - PORTLAND OREGON; under bank, A POWER / LIKE THAT OF A / MIGHTY GENIE WHO / STANDS READY TO / BUILD INDUSTRIES / AND TEMPLES / AT THE CALL OF / MAN'S WILL.

This medal is a beautiful if misplaced expression of optimism in the nation's banks. It was issued in 1929, the year of Black Tuesday, the gigantic stock market crash that signaled the beginning the Great Depression. American faith in a better future took a severe beating and it was a long time before such unbridled optimism would reappear in medallic art.

This medal measures 70.2mm in diameter and was struck by the Medallic Art Company of New York.

References: MACo 1929-055

Courage Plaque1929
AF-C
Bronze

The obverse bears upper body of muscular worker with short-sleeved shirt unbuttoned, right arm across body in dynamic pose. At lower left, COURAGE

The reverse bears rising sun over stylized wave-framed horizon at bottom. Above, DEDICATED / to all / those who have / the courage to / face adversity / with a conquering / spirit

This plaque holds one of Fairbanks' most iconic images: the heroic worker, facing whatever challenges the day might bring with determination and courage. It is a very 1930's motif, executed beautifully and dynamically. In some ways, it is very reminiscent of Communist imagery. Taken out of context, it might well be an image from a Soviet medal praising the "heroic socialist worker doing his part to fulfill the ten-year plan."

This plaque measures 60mm x 90mm and was struck in bronze by the Medallic Art Company of New York.

References: MACo 1933-018

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