Artist Name

birth12/2/1890, Stuttgart, GermanyPicture of Carl Paul Jennewein
death2/22/1978, Larchmont, NY
parentsLouis Jennewein and Emilia Weber
educationKunstmuseum Stuttgart
Universitat Stuttgart
Art Students League, New York
American Academy in Rome
awardsPrix de Rome (1916)
Fairmont Park Assoc. Prize from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (1926)
National Academy of Design (1933)
J. Sanford Saltus Award (1949)

C. Paul Jennewein, one of eight children in his family, was born in 1890 in Stuttgart, Germany. His father was a die engraver and often allowed his young son to watch him work, thereby kindling an intense interest in drawing, engraving, and etching. Paul did not enjoy school, often saying "I wasn't good at anything in school except art." Thus, at age 13, he left school to become an apprentice to artisans at the Kunstmuseum in Stuttgart. For three years, he studied painting and sculpture and took courses in architectural drawing and art history at the university in Stuttgart. He immigrated to the United States in 1907. There he was apprenticed to Buhler and Lauter, a New York City firm of architectural sculptors and commercial modelers. In the evenings, Jennewein attended classes at the Art Students League, where virtually all important artists of the time either taught or took classes. He studied with George Bridgman and Dewitt Clinton Peters.

Within four years of his arrival in the United States, Jennewein was receiving outside commissions that drew upon his skills as an ornamental sculptor and as a painter. One of his first independent jobs was for the Pompeiian-style bas-relief decorations for the Fifth Avenue home of John D. Rockefeller. Soon after, he received a commission to paint six mural panels for the Woolworth Building, which was known as the "Cathedral of Commerce," and at the time, was the tallest building ever constructed.

Jennewein became a United States citizen in 1915 and enlisted in the National Guard, serving as a private near the Texas-Mexican border with the Seventh Regiment. He received an honorable discharge in June 1916 to accept the Prix de Rome award for the sculpture at the American Academy in Rome.

The Prix de Rome was one of the most coveted awards an artist could receive. Each year, it was awarded to a sculptor, a painter, an architect, and two classical students. Jennewein spent three years in Rome pursuant to the award, creating sculpture and traveling throughout Italy and Greece studying the classical masterworks. These years were crucial to the development of Jennewein's style and strongly influenced the direction of his later work.

While in Rome, a young Italian painter and linguist named Gina Pirra was his Italian tutor. The two fell in love, were married, and eventually had five children. Some of Jennewein’s finest works were inspired by his family. First Step (1919) was based on his wife Gina and son Paul, and Mimi and Squirrel (1922), a portrait of his daughter Mimi, are beautifully composed and meticulously rendered groups. Jennewein returned to New York in 1920, and within an astonishing sixteen months wrote, "I have so much work to do now that I am not able to take on work for many years." By 1926, he had settled with his family at 11 Serpentine Trail in Larchmont, and by 1928 he had established his studio in the Bronx. During the 1920s and 1930s, Jennewein worked with many of the leading architects of his time and became one of the most respected and sought-after sculptors of the period.

One of his first important commissions was The Philadelphia Museum of Art Pediment, which was designed in the style of the Parthenon, and features Jennewein’s thirteen polychrome sculptures of Greek gods and goddesses in its central pediment. As soon as it was completed, it evoked an enthusiastic response, because color in architecture had not been used since the third century in Greece. A result of his initial research for the Philadelphia project was a small sculpture called Greek Dance (1926), which was popular and produced in an edition of twenty-five bronze casts. By 1931, he had been elected to membership in the National Academy of Design and the National Institute of Arts and Sciences.

Jennewein was also commissioned for the building boom that was taking place in Washington, D.C. He created Nymph and Fawn for the Darlington Memorial in Judicial Park and Eagles for the Arlington Memorial Bridge. At the Department of Justice Building, Jennewein coordinated all aspects of the decoration — facades, statues, reliefs, panels, sculptures, and light fixtures. The building was completed in 1933 at the height of the Art Deco period. Architect Charles Moore calls its unified ornamentation a testament to the “high character and exquisite beauty of the Jennewein sculpture.” A study for the relief Law and Order on the Constitution Avenue entrance of the Department of Justice can be found on the outdoor patio of his house in Larchmont.

In New York City, Jennewein created the main entrance to Rockefeller Center at the British Empire Building. The nine cast-bronze figures representing industry form a major component of the Rockefeller Center façade overlooking Fifth Avenue. Another important accomplishment was the 1939 World’s Fair pylons, which embodied many elements from Greek mythology. In the same year, he designed dramatic columns for the entrance to the main branch of the Brooklyn Library. Gold-leafed characters from mythology, fables, and American fiction are carved into the 50-foot pylons.

In 1954, two allegorical relief panels representing Ceres and Orpheus were installed over the entrances to the State Dining Room and the East Room in the White House. At this point in his career, Jennewein designed many commemorative medals, including portraits of Mark Twain, Woodrow Wilson, Daniel Boone, Sacajawea, and Pope John, as well as medallions for the Hall of Fame, the United Jewish Appeal, and the medal for the inauguration of President Truman.

Two of Jennewein's children also contributed to the arts locally. In 1941, while a student at Yale School of Fine Arts, his daughter Mimi won a contest to paint three panels of a mural depicting the life of James Fennimore Cooper, which was installed in the Mamaroneck High School Post Road cafeteria. The mural can still be seen and enjoyed today in the MHS Apple (A Place People Learn Excellence) center at the school. His son Peter was the architect of the Mamaroneck Village War Memorial, which incorporates one of Paul Jennewein’s sculptures.

Paul Jennewein was 87 when he died at the Larchmont Shore Club in 1978. Two years later, a retrospective exhibition of his work was held at the Tampa Museum of Art, which was bequeathed most of the works from his estate.

Large portions of this biography courtesy of the Larchmont Historical Society.

You can click on the medals to see the reverse.

Fame and Glory 1933
SOM-7.1
Golden bronze with brown patina
SOM-7.2
Golden bronze with light tan patina
SOM-7.4
Silver

This medal was chosen as the 7th issue of the prestigious Society of Medalists series. The medal's obverse bears a winged cherub holding two laurel crowns. At lower right, GLORIA. The reverse bears a cicada flanked by FA - MA; in lower right Jennewein's distinctive signature, a stylized facial profile, CPJ / 1933 / ©. The border is boldly beaded.

Jennewein contrasts Glory and Fame, two aspects of achievement and recognition, on a medal, which itself is often used as an award. He thus makes a subtle point not just about the distinction between fame and glory but also about the medium itself. In his "Message from the Artist" Jennewein wrote:

"Fame and Glory are symbolized in this medal as the elements in the life of men which the awarding of medals is designed to promote and recognize. But the artist has made a subtle distinction between that Glory which, unsought, belongs to those who aspire, strive and sacrifice for a great ideal, and that Fame which is won by self-seeking in the attainment of public eminence for the gratification of personal power and vanity."

He used the cicada as a symbol for the latter because its "noisy and shrill self-assertion gains wide hearing but is only the discordant demonstration of an obstreperous but insignificant creature." If Jennewein was annoyed by this type of person, I wonder what he would make of much of modern pop culture...

The medal measures 73mm in diameter. The Medallic Art Company of New York reportedly struck 1,237 pieces in bronze and 125 (out of 700 authorized) in silver.

References: Marqsee 209

SOM-7.1
Bronze
73.0mm (2.87in)
Golden bronze with brown patina
THE SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS SEVENTH ISSUE
MEDALLIC ART CO.N.Y.
SOM-7.2
Bronze
73.0mm (2.87in)
Golden bronze with light tan patina
THE SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS SEVENTH ISSUE
MEDALLIC ART CO.N.Y.-BRONZE
SOM-7.3
Bronze
73.0mm (2.87in)
Golden bronze with light tan patina
THE SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS SEVENTH ISSUE
SOM-7.4
Silver
73.0mm (2.87in)
THE SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS SEVENTH ISSUE - ONE OF LIMITED ISSUE OF 700
MEDALLIC ART CO.N.Y. - .999+ PURE SILVER
SOM-7 Romance Brochure #1 SOM-7 Romance Brochure #2 SOM-7 Romance Brochure #3
IBM - 33rd Anniversary1947
IBM-3
Bronze

The obverse bears bust of Thomas J Watson, president of IBM. Signed with Carl Paul Jennewein's distinctive (CPJ monogram) / 1947 in lower left.

The reverse consists of center field surrounded by recessed ring, laurels to left and right; at bottom, corporate motto THINK; in center field, TO / ALL MEMBERS OF / THE IBM ORGANIZATION / IN APPRECIATION OF THEIR / LOYALTY, COOPERATION AND EFFORT / ON BEHALF OF THE CORPORATION / AND IN COMMEMORATION OF ITS / THIRD OF A CENTURY OF PROGRESS / 1914 - 1947 / (signature of Watson) / PRESIDENT.

Thomas John Watson, Sr. (February 17, 1874 - June 19, 1956) is best known for his role as the chairman and CEO of International Business Machines (IBM). He oversaw the company's growth into an international force from 1914 to 1956. Watson developed IBM's distinctive management style and corporate culture, and turned the company into a highly-effective selling organization, based largely on punched card tabulating machines. A leading self-made industrialist, he was one of the richest men of his time and was called the world's greatest salesman when he died in 1956.

The medal measures 73mm in diameter and was struck by the Medallic Art Company of New York.

Beech Aircraft Company - 25th Anniversary1957
BAC-25
Bronze with tan patina

The medal's obverse shows conjoined busts of founders facing left. Above, TWENTY-FIFTH ANNIVERSARY; left and right, WALTER H. / BEECH and O. A. / BEECH; below in two lines, CO-FOUNDERS / BEECH AIRCRAFT CORPORATION

The reverse has Beech "B" over globe, seven-pointed star behind, rays segmenting medal into seven segments, each containing a different Beechcraft airplane. Around, THE WORLD IS SMALL WHEN YOU FLY A BEECHCRAFT / 1932 - 1957

Beech Aircraft Company was founded in Wichita, Kansas, in 1932 by Walter Beech and his wife Olive Ann Beech. The company began operations in an idle Cessna factory. With designer Ted Wells, they developed the first aircraft under the Beechcraft name, the classic Model 17 Staggerwing, which first flew in November 1932. Over 750 Staggerwings were built, with 270 manufactured for the United States Army Air Forces during World War II.

In 1950, Olive Ann Beech was installed as president and CEO of the company, after the sudden death of her husband from a heart attack on 29 November of that year. She continued as CEO until Beech was purchased by Raytheon Company on 8 February 1980. Ted Wells had been replaced as Chief Engineer by Herbert Rawdon, who remained at the post until his retirement in the early 1960s.

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

Victory in Europe Day, 20th Anniversary 1965
CPJ-VE
Bronze

This medal celebrates the 20th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. The obverse bears left facing busts of (left to right) Eisenhower, Alexander, and Koenig, three leading generals of the war in Europe. Above, THESE WERE THE HONORED IN THEIR GENERATION AND / WERE THE GLORY OF THEIR TIMES; below, 1939 / 1945 / EISENHOWER / ALEXANDER / KOENIG; signed 19 © 69 / C.P.JENNEWEIN. The reverse bears the emblem of the Allied Expeditionary Force (flaming sword of liberation under rainbow of hope) and the emblem of the United Jewish Appeal in front of mistletoe. Above (rosette) TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY (rosette); below V - E DAY.

The United Jewish Appeal commissioned this medal to celebrate the anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, where millions of Jews had been killed in the Holocaust. Understandably, victory over Nazi Germany resonated deeply in the Jewish community of America and Jennewein's aesthetically pleasing medal celebrating an important historic event was probably a popular and sought-after memento.

The medal measures 76mm in diameter and was produced by the Medallic Art Company in New York. The production quantity of this medal is not known.

Marts and Lundy Distinguished Service Medal1965
IBM-3
Bronze

The obverse bears city skyline to left and family of three to right; in exergue, eagle with thirteen stars. Around top, PHILANTHROPOS · CARITAS; signed under family, C P JENNEWEN

The reverse bears wreath surrounded by AMICUS - HUMANIS / GENERIS; in center field, PRESENTED / TO / BY / MARTS & LUNDY / IN ADMIRATION FOR THE OUTSTANDING / VOLUNTEER LEADERSHIP IN / WHICH WILL BENEFIT / OTHERS FOR MANY / GENERATIONS

The edge is marked MEDALLIC ART CO. N.Y. BRONZE

Marts & Lundy was founded in 1926 and operates as a fundraising consulting firm. Its services center around maximizing a client's philanthropic potential and building a sustainable culture of philanthropy around its stakeholder base.

This is an elegant commercial medal by one of the American masters of medallic art.

The circular medal measures 76.5mm in diameter and was struck in bronze by the Medallic Art Company of New York.

References: MACo 1965-087

Carl Sandburg - Chicago Public Library Centenary1972
CPJ-CS
Golden bronze

The medal's obverse shows bust of Carl Sandburg l. Around, THE PEACE OF GREAT BOOKS BE FOR YOU - CARL SANDBURG

The reverse bears view of facade of Chicago Public Library under tree branch. Above, CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY; in exergue, FOUNDED 1872

Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) was an American poet, writer and editor. He won three Pulitzer prizes, two for poetry and one for his Lincoln biography. Sandburg was a supporter of the Civil Rights Movement and was the first white man to be honored by the NAACP as a "major prophet of civil rights in our time."

The medal's obverse is still used today for the Chicago Public Library's Carl Sandburg Literary Awards.

The medal measures 63mm in diameter and was struck in bronze by the Medallic Art Company of New York.

The Huntingtons 1973
BG-1
Golden bronze

This was the first of the prestigious Brookgreen Gardens member medals issued in 1973.

The obverse bears conjoined busts of Anna Hyatt Huntington and her husband Archer M. Huntington facing right. Above, AMICI - HVMANI - GENERIS; below, ARCHER M. HUNTINGTON / ANNA HYATT HUNTINGTON

The reverse bears Anna Hyatt Huntington's Fighting Stallions sculpture, one rider hanging on to mane of his steed, the other about to be trampled under his horse's hooves. In exergue, BROOKGREEN / GARDENS; at lower right, ANNA HYATT / HUNTINGTON

Carl Paul Jennewein was a sculptor, trustee and chairman at Brookgreen Gardens and designed the first issue in the member medal series.

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

Beech Aircraft Company - 50th Anniversary1982
BAC-50
Bronze with tan patina

The medal's obverse shows conjoined busts of founders facing left at top. Below, busts of company presidents. Around, 1932 - FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY - 1982 / BEECH AIRCRAFT CORPORATION; over founders' image, CO-FOUNDERS; to sides of company presidents WALTER H. / BEECH / PRESIDENT / 1932; OLIVE ANN / BEECH / PRESIDENT / 1950; FRANK E. / HEDRICK / PRESIDENT / 1968; E.C. / BURNS / PRESIDENT / 1981

The reverse has Beech "B" over globe surrounded by different Beechcraft airplane. Around, THE WORLD IS SMALL WHEN YOU FLY A BEECHCRAFT / A HALF CENTURY TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE IN AVIATION & SPACE

Beech Aircraft Company was founded in Wichita, Kansas, in 1932 by Walter Beech and his wife Olive Ann Beech. The company began operations in an idle Cessna factory. With designer Ted Wells, they developed the first aircraft under the Beechcraft name, the classic Model 17 Staggerwing, which first flew in November 1932. Over 750 Staggerwings were built, with 270 manufactured for the United States Army Air Forces during World War II.

In 1950, Olive Ann Beech was installed as president and CEO of the company, after the sudden death of her husband from a heart attack on 29 November of that year. She continued as CEO until Beech was purchased by Raytheon Company on 8 February 1980. Ted Wells had been replaced as Chief Engineer by Herbert Rawdon, who remained at the post until his retirement in the early 1960s.

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

  • Statue of sculptor's wife and toddler child

    The First Step (1919)

    A woman with braided hair kneeling down to help a small child who is learning to walk.

    Jennewein is know to have drawn inspiration from his family and this sculpture is a perfect example. It depicts Jennewein's wife Gina and their son Paul.

    This sculpture is located at the Museum of Fine Arts of St. Petersburg, FL.
    Image from the Smithsonian Institution.

  • Statue of a nymph with tame fawn

    Nymph and Fawn (1922)

    A Nymph stands gracefully with left knee bent, shoulders and head slightly bowed. The right hand is raised and the other is placed on the back of a fawn at her side. A piece of drapery falls over her elbows and behind her back. The fillet in her hair and the tassels of the drapery are gilded.

    The original guilded copy is located at the Darlington Memorial in Judicial Park.

    This sculpture is located at Brookgreen Gardens.
    Image courtesy of the Museum.

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.
C. Paul Jennewein, Sculptor
A book authored by Shirley Reiff Howarth and published by the Tampa Museum in 1980.
C. Paul Jennewein
A book authored by the C. Paul National Sculpture Society & Jennewein and published by University of Georgia Press in 1950.

Research Archives and Websites

Larchmont Historical Society
The Historical Society of Larchmont, NY, where Jennewein spent a large part of his life.
Graham Gallery
A short bio with nice details and a picture of Mimi with Squirrel.

Museums