Artist Name

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Vanity 1982
by John Cook
SOM-105.1
Golden bronze with light tan patina

This medal was chosen as the 105th issue of the prestigious Society of Medalists series in 1982. The medal's obverse bears Pan playing pipes over a skull. Around, INGENITA LEVITAS (levity is inborn); below, signature JC in a square. The reverse bears a man holding a mirror or mask. Around, ET ERUDITA VANITAS (and vanity is learned); below signature JC in a square.

In the 1980's Cook was slowly drifting towards darker subject matter and the skull on this medal is a precursor of things to come. By 1987 his FIDEM catalog entry stated that "his works represent an exploration into various images and manifestations of death."

In 1982 he was still transitioning and wrote in the medal's brochure:

"This brief couplet from Cicero's Pro Flacco presents a profound opposition of the dionysian and appollonian aspects of man's nature. Being deeply moved both by the wit and the simple beauty employed in the fusing together of thse diverse elements, I have tried in sculptural terms to achieve a like coupling."

The medal measures 73mm in diameter and was struck by the Medallic Art Company of Danbury, Connecticut. The reported mintage is 750 pieces in bronze.

SOM-105.1
Bronze
73.0mm (2.87in)
Golden bronze with light tan patina
THE SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS, 105TH ISSUE APRIL, 1982, JOHN COOK, Sc.(C)
(C) 1982 MEDALLIC ART CO. - DANBURY, CT. - BRONZE
U.S.A. FIDEM Delegation Medal 1983
JC-FIDEM.1
Bronze

The obverse bears a a sun-like face surrounded by hair or sun rays.

The reverse bears same face full right surrounded by three concentric circles of inscription: FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE LA MEDAILLE / DELEGATION DES ETATS-UNIS A FIORENCE / XIXEME CONGRES INTERNATIONAL.

The obverse of this medal is a reprise of a design from 1982 called "LOUIS XIV" depicting the self-annointed sun-king. That earlier medal was cast in an edition of just 4 and had a diameter of 88mm.

This medal was issued in two versions, both with a diameter of 57mm. The more common version is bronze and bears the edge ©1983 MEDALLIC ART CO. - DANBURY, CT. - BRONZE. The less common version is silver-plated and bears the edge ©1983 MEDALLIC ART CO. - DANBURY, CT. - BRONZE / SILVER PLATE / DONORS.

JC-FIDEM.1
Bronze
©1983 MEDALLIC ART CO. - DANBURY, CT. - BRONZE
JC-FIDEM.2
Silver-plated Bronze
©1983 MEDALLIC ART CO. - DANBURY, CT. - BRONZE / SILVER PLATE / DONORS
Michelangelo's Amulet 1984
JC-MICH
Bronze

This uniface amulet bears Michelangelo's head facing left and away. It was issued in 1984 in an edition of just 4 and has a size of 63mm x 65mm.

The Centaur Carver 1986
by  John Cook
BG-14
Golden bronze with saddle-brown patina

This was the 14th of the prestigious Brookgreen Gardens member medals, issued in 1986.

The obverse bears centaur with carving tools. Around, BROOKGREEN GARDENS

The reverse bears four flute-playing centaurs riding left on dark-patinated upper field; beneath their hooves, SOUTH CAROLINA. Lower field showing incuse reflection of upper field with reverse patination.

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

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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.
John Cook, Sculpture
Museum of Art, Pennsylvania State University, 1975.

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