You can click on the medals to see the reverse.
The medal's obverse bears three draped female figures in the process of sculpting, drawing, and painting. Around, NATIONAL · ASSOCIATION · OF · WOMEN · ARTISTS; below, . FOUNDED 1889 .
The reverse bears a stylized sun in field at top. Below, AWARDED TO / (empty field) / FOR / (empty field); signed to right of sun, (BP monogram)
The edge is marked MEDALLIC ART CO NY
In 1889 women were still barred from full membership in the male-dominated National Academy of Design. Five women, Grace Fitz-Randolph, Edith Mitchill Prellwitz, Adele Frances Bedell, Anita C. Ashley, and Elizabeth S. Cheever, were finally fed up with the status quo and founded the Women's Art Club. The organization flourished and in 1913 was renamed the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors, reflecting its national influence and the increasing number of women sculptors. Through the 1920s the organization was sponsoring exhibitions nationally and abroad.
In the 1930s membership grew to over 1,000 and the organization opened its Argent Galleries on 57th Street in New York City. In 1941, the organization changed its name again to the National Association of Women Artists.
This medal is a redesign of an earlier version that had the same center image but the earlier name around the obverse's circumference.
The heptagonal medallion measures 70mm from side to side and was struck by the Medallic Art Company of New York. Its mintage is not reported.
This medal was chosen as the 26th issue of the prestigious Society of Medalists series in 1942.
The obverse bears kneeling nude youth holding an airplane model in right hand, left hand on propeller; sun at left horizon. To right, date and signature 19 (circled BP) 41 / ©
The reverse bears dove in flight over fleecy clouds. Below, FLIGHT
Brenda Putnam wrote in the brochure accompanying the medal:
"Although this medal is issued during a preiod when the entire world is engaged in a gigantic struggle on land, at sea, and in the air, the theme of the medal is not warlike. The lad is no warrior, and the bird no eagle. Rather does the design concern itself with man's creative struggle to win supremacy in a vast new region, -the air. The war proves only too well the appalling destructive power of fighting and bombing planes. But beyond the war -and there will surely be a beyond- there are infinite possibilities for constructive and humanitarian activities in man's conquest of the air."
This medal measures 73mm in diameter and was produced by the Medallic Art Company of New York which struck 759 pieces in bronze and 100 in silver.
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