Artist Name


birth1899 in Essen, GermanyPicture of Henry Kreis
death1963
parents
educationSchool of Applied Arts, Munich, Germany
Beaux Arts Institute of Design, New York
awardsGeorge D. Widener Gold Medal, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art (1942)

Henry Kreis was born in Essen, Germany. He was apprenticed to a stone carver after leaving high school, where he learned the principles of three dimensional design. After service in the German army during World War I, he studied art at the State School of Applied Arts in Munich.

Kreis came to the United States in 1922 where he first earned his living as a stone cutter; he studied at the Beaux Arts Institute of Design, and later with Paul Manship with whom he developed a lifelong friendship. During the Great Depression he participated in the Works Progress Administration and worked with Mr. Manship in creating the "Prometheus" figure in Rockefeller Center. Kreis's work is on display in the "Birth of A Nation" monument in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, on the Bronx Post Office and the Supreme Court building in Brooklyn. Subsequent to World War II, Kreis created an eleven foot high figure titled "Honor" at the entrance of the North Africa Military Cemetery at Carthage, the War Memorial at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, the Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial in Los Angeles. Kreis was a member of the National Sculpture Society, Architectural League of New York and the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts and became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1951. He received a number of prizes for his work and exhibited at the National Sculpture Society; Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts Architectural League; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; Whitney Museum of American Art (which has his work in its permanent collection); National Academy of Design; and the Art Institute of Chicago. His sculptures are on view on public and private buildings in Washington, D.C., Erie, Pennsylvania, and Nyack, New York. Kreis' interest in the design of coins and medals won him the Saltus Medal from the American Numismatic Society. Among the medals Kreis designed are those commemorating the Connecticut Tercentenary, the New York Worlds Fair, the 36th issue of the Society of Medalists series, as well as coins for the United States. For a number of years, Kreis was on the faculty at the Hartford Art School. His work is also in a number of private collections.

Sourced mainly from Wikipedia.

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

  • Connecticut Tercentenary 1935
    HK-CT-300
    Bronze

    This medal celebrates the 300th anniversary of the state of Connecticut. The obverse bears group of five angular figures in colonial attire with scroll inscribed 1633-1935 CONNECTICUT 300 YEARS; three women, possibly representing the three centuries. The reverse bears grape vines from the State Arms, next to vines, RELIGION, LAW, EDUCATION; around, THREE CENTURIES OF SELF-GOVERNMENT BASED ON CONSTITUTIONAL LIBERTY; banner reading QUI - TRANSTULIT - JUSTINET; signed below, © HENRY - KREIS.

    This medal measures 75.7mm and was struck in bronze by the Medallic Art Company of New York.

  • Wise and Foolish Virgins 1947
    by Henry Kreis
    SOM-36.1
    Golden bronze with yellow-tan patina
    SOM-36.3
    Red-gold bronze with light tan patina

    This medal was chosen as the 36th issue of the prestigious Society of Medalists series. The obverse bears a large female figure gazing intently left; four small female figures holding lamp and lekythoi. Lower left quadrant, THE WISE / VIRGINS.

    The reverse bears five female figures standing and sitting on stair with empty lamps; two sleek cats. Below, eight lines of text including six lines of verse: THE FOOLISH VIRGINS. / "NO LIGHT HAD WE, FOR THAT WE DO REPENT, / AND LEARNING THIS THE BRIDEGROOM WILL RELENT. / TOO LATE, TOO LATE, YE CANNOT ENTER NOW." / "NO LIGHT, SO LATE, AND DARK AND CHILL THE NIGHT. / O LET US IN, THAT WE MAY FIND THE LIGHT. / TOO LATE, TOO LATE, YE CANNOT ENTER NOW." / TENNYSON; below text, © HENRY KREIS.

    The lines of poetry are an excerpt from Alfred Lord Tennyson's "Idylls of the King," which is based, as this medal is, on the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1-13.

    This medal measures 73mm and was struck by the Medallic Art Company of New York. The mintage was 599 in bronze and 50 in silver.

    SOM-36.1
    Bronze
    73.0mm (2.87in)
    Golden bronze with yellow-tan patina
    THE SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS 36TH ISSUE 1947-HENRY KREIS, SCULPTOR
    MEDALLIC ART CO.N.Y.
    SOM-36.2
    Bronze
    73.0mm (2.87in)
    Golden bronze with yellow-tan patina
    THE SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS 36TH ISSUE 1947-HENRY KREIS, SCULPTOR
    MEDALLIC ART CO.N.Y. BRONZE
    SOM-36.3
    Bronze
    73.0mm (2.87in)
    Red-gold bronze with light tan patina
    THE SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS 36TH ISSUE 1947-HENRY KREIS, SCULPTOR
    MEDALLIC ART CO.-DANBURY, CONN
    SOM-36.4
    Silver
    73.0mm (2.87in)
    THE SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS 36TH ISSUE 1947-HENRY KREIS, SCULPTOR
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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.

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