Artist Name


birth4/4/1898 in Newark, NJPicture of John Flanagan
death3/28/1952 in New York, NY
parents
education
awards

John Flanagan was a well-known American sculptor and medalist. Born in Newark, New Jersey on April 4, 1898, he moved to New York City and created many works of art, including portrait sculptures, before his death on March 28, 1952. Among Flanagan’s most famous works are the eagle that is stamped on the back of the United States quarter and the clock that can be seen in the main reading room of the Library of Congress. Throughout his career, Flanagan was a member of various artists’ groups, had his work displayed at numerous museums, received awards for his work, and was even inducted as a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1927, becoming as officer of the group in 1934.

Flanagan studied with Chapu, Falguiere and St. Gaudens in Paris. Considered America’s leading medalist, he created many commemorative medals over the course of his life. His memberships included the National Institute of Arts and Letters (NAL), the National Sculpture Society (NSS), and the American Numismatic Society.

Flanagan’'s works have been exhibited all over the world. His medals have been seen in the Paris Salon, the Paris Expo in 1900, the Pan-American Expo in Buffalo in 1901, the St. Louis Expo in 1904, the Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915, and the American Numismatic Society in 1921. One of his gold works was exhibited at the National Academy of Design in 1932 and he received a prize for his work from the Allied Artists of America.

Flanagan’'’s medals can be seen at Musee du Jeu de Paume, Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Newark Museum, the St. Louis Art Museum (currently called the City Art Museum), the Carnegie Institute, and the Library of Congress. A statue sculpted by him can be found in Albany, New York and various memorials are located at the Free Public Library in Newark, the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., the Aetna Life Insurance Building in Hartford, Connecticut, and the School of Albany, New York. Flanagan created a war medal for the town of Marion, Massachusetts and another medal for the Garden Club of America. One of Flanagan’s works, the “Medaille de Verdun,” was “presented by the President of the United States to the City of Verdun”. The Museum of Ghent, Belgium and the American Numismatic Society in New York also house some of his other works.

Largest portions from here.



You can click medals to switch between obverse and reverse sides. When multiple variants are available, you can drag the image sideways to show a different variant.

Daniel Garrison Brinton Medal1898
JF-DGB
Bronze

This uniface medal's obverse bears bust of Brinton, left. Around top, (flower) DANIEL · GARRISON · BRINTON (flower); on left and right of bust, M·D·C· - C·C· / XCV - III·; signed at lower left, PARIS / (decoration) / (indecipherable) FLANAGAN

Daniel Garrison Brinton (1837-1899) was a doctor, archaeologist, and ethnologist. He studied at Yale, Jefferson Medical College, Heidelberg and Paris and served as a surgeon in the Union army dring the Civil War. He suffered a severe sun-stroke from which he never totally recovered during the Third Battle of Chattanooga. Among the many society's he belonged to was the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia, which commissioned this medal.

Ideologically he was a complicated man. Like many educated people of his time he advocated theories of scientific racism. Later in life he became an anarchist and outspoken critic of the soiety he lived in.

The medal is most commonly known to have a reverse that bears the Society's seal. This uniface variant might be an artist's proof.

The medal measures 64mm in diameter and was struck in bronze.

Hudson-Fulton Celebration 1909
by John Flanagan
COF-1.1
Tan-gold patina
COF-1.2
Tan-gold patina

This medal was the first issue of the prestigious Circle of Friends of the Medallion series in 1909. The obverse bears conjoined busts of Henry Hudson in ruff and Robert Fulton in nineteeth-century civil dress. Around, HENRY HUDSON * ROBERT FULTON; in right field, signed J F / (acanthus ornament) / MCMIX

The reverse bears Hudson River with Halve Maene and North River Steamboat sailing past modern skyline; nymph reclining on cloud holds glowing lightbulb. Above, dates MDCIX * MDCCCVII; below, MCMIX

The Hudson-Fulton celebration was a regionally significant event that left a multitude of coins, medals, posters and other memorabilia in its wake. Hudson and Fulton cooperated to demonstrate the commercial viability steamboats on the Hudson river.

The medal measures 70mm in diameter and was struck by Davison of Philadelphia.

References: Baxter 101, Marqusee 141

COF-1.1
Bronze
70.0mm (2.76in)
Tan-gold patina
MED. ART CO. <>
COF-1.2
Bronze
70.0mm (2.76in)
Tan-gold patina
MED. ART CO.
COF-1.3
Bronze
70.0mm (2.76in)
Tan-gold patina
DAVIDSON PHILA.
COF-1.4
Bronze
70.0mm (2.76in)
Tan-gold patina
COF-1.5
Bronze
70.0mm (2.76in)
Red mahogany patina
CIRCLE OF FRIENDS
DAVIDSON PHILA.
COF-1.6
Bronze
70.0mm (2.76in)
Coin finish
William Howard Taft1911
PS-1911
Bronze

The plaque bears portrait of William Howard Taft. Above, THE PENNSYLVANIA SOCIETY DINNER; to left, FOR / WILLIAM / HOWARD / TAFT / ©; to right, (JF monogram) / JANUARY / XXI / MCM / XI

In 1899, an historian and native Pennsylvanian named James Barr Ferree, who was living in New York City, invited 55 fellow Pennsylvanians living in New York to join him for dinner at The Waldorf Astoria Hotel. While feasting on oysters and Delmonico steaks, they decided to form a group known initially as "The Pennsylvania Society of New York." Their goal was to establish a society "uniting all Pennsylvanians at home and away from home in bonds of friendship and devotion to their native or adopted state."

The following year, a visiting British journalist and Member of Parliament dropped in and entertained the diners with his stories. His name was Winston Churchill and thus began the tradition of inviting a guest speaker to the dinner.

In 1911, the 27th President of the Unites States, William Howard Taft, was the guest speaker. At the time of the dinner, Taft was halfway through his tenure as President.

The plaque measures 104mm in diameter. The design for this plaque was used for the souvenir ice-cream boxes that were distributed at the Twelfth Annual Dinner of the Society. The cast bronze plaquettes, mounted on an oak board, were offered to subscribers at $7.00 per copy.

Panama-Pacific International Exposition Medal1915
JF-PP
Gold-plated bronze

The medal's obverse bears male and female nudes symbolizing the union of the Western hemisphere by the Panama Canal; in background, sun and clouds above horizon with American isthmus. At bottom, DIVINE DISIVNCTA IVNXIT HOMO

The medal's reverse shows the Panama Pacific International Exposition's Tower of Jewels. On panel below building, MEDAL / OF AWARD; around, PANAMA PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION SAN FRANCISCO - MCMXV

The medal measures 70.3mm in diameter and was struck in bronze by the United States Mint. Plain bronze, silver-plated, and gold-plated versions are known to exist.

References: Baker 114, MACo 1915-020, Marqusee 150-152

School Art League of New York Award Medal1915
JF-A
Bronze

The uniface medal's obverse depicts a young woman sketching. Around, SCHOOL ART LEAG-UE OF NEW YORK CITY; on foot rest, FOR MERIT; in exergue, 19 (JF monogram) 15

The edge bears maker's mark MEDALLIC ART CO. N.Y.

The medal is also known as the John W. Alexander Medal. Alexander (1856-1915) was a painter and illustrator who died in 1915 and was commemorated by this medal.

The medal measures 68mm in diameter and was struck by the Medallic Art Company of New York. Its mintage is not reported.

References: Baxter 155, Marqusee 154

Visit of the Prince of Wales1919
ANS-41.1
Bronze
ANS-41.2
Silver

This medal was the 41st medal officially issued by the American Numismatic Society.

The obverse bears portrait of Edward, Prince of Wales, in uniform, facing right. Around, EDWARD PRINCE OF WALES; at bottom right, heraldic badge over circled (JF monogram).

The reverse displays allegorical female figure flanked by two vertical oak branches. To left of figure, COMMEMORATING / THE VISIT OF / HRH THE PRINCE / OF WALES / TO THE / UNITED STATES / NOVEMBER / MCMXIX / A N S (with oak leaves).

This was the fourth medal issued by the American Numismatic Society (ANS) in 1919, a very productive year for the Society as far as medals were concerned. J. Sanford Saltus, the great benefactor of American Medallic Art, provided not only funds covering the costs of design and die creation, but also enough money to strike one copy in gold. That copy was presented to the Prince of Wales during a ceremony on board the battleship Renown. In addition to ANS members, the privilege of subscribing to the medal was extended to the Pilgrims of the United States.

The medal measures 63.3mm in diameter and was struck by the Medallic Art Company of New York. The reported mintage is 1 piece in gold, 145 in silver, 227 in bronze, and 1 in brass (made for the British Museum).

References: Baxter 160, Johnson 35, MACo 1919-009, Marqusee 156

ANS-41.1
Bronze
63.3mm (2.5in)
227
ANS-41.2
Silver
63.3mm (2.5in)
145
ANS-41.3
Gold
63.3mm (2.5in)
1
ANS-41.4
Brass
63.3mm (2.5in)
1
Walt Whitman Medallion1919
JF-WW
Bronze

The uniface medallion's obverse bears a frontal bust of Walt Whitman wearing hat and large, unruly beard. Around top, WALT WHITMAN; over shoulder at left MCM XVI / (JF monogram) / MCM XIX

The edge is hallmarked with MEDALLIC ART CO NY BRONZE

Walter "Walt" Whitman (1819-1892) was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. The medallion commemorates the centenary of his birth.

The medallion measures 82.2mm in diameter and was struck by the Medallic Art Company of New York. Its mintage is not reported.

References: Marqusee 157

LaFayette Statue Dedication Medal1920
JF-LS
Bronze

The obverse bears statue of LaFayette on horseback. To left and right, LAFA - YETTE / WE - ARE / HERE; signed at right, (JF monogram)

The looped medal's reverse bears statue of Lafayette, half right. Around, COMM· DEDIC· OF THE STATUE OF LAFA-YETTE PRES· TO THE CITY OF METZ BY THE / KNIGHTS - OF COLUMBUS; to left and right of statue, SEPT - EMBER / VI - MCMXX; signed in right field, (JF monogram)

It was in the year 1775 in the French city of Metz that the Marquis de LaFayette committed himself to the cause of the American Revolution. He became one of the central figures of the revolution and gained the undying gratitude of the young nation. In 1919, the Knights of Columbus sponsored an equestrian statue of LaFayette

"to commemorate the fraternal participation of France to the foundation of the United State (1775-1783) and to immortalize the sacrifice of the glorious French and American soldiers who died on the battlefields of Liberty, in 1914-1918."

In August 1920 one of the famous equestrian statues of Lafayette by the American sculptor P.W. Bartlett, was inaugurated in the Square Boufflers of Metz, near the very place where Lafayette stood in 1775 at the Governor's Palace.

The medal measures 41mm in diameter and was struck in bronze. Its mintage is not reported.

References: Marqusee 147

John Cotton Dana Plaque 1929
JF-JCD
Bronze with brown patina

The obverse bears bust of John Cotton Dana facing right. Below, JOHN COTTON DANA

The reverse bears a view of the front facade of the Newark, New Jersey Museum. Above, THIS MUSEUM IS / THE THOUGHT AND / WORK OF / JOHN COTTON DANA; below, M · C · M · XXV; signed at top, (JF monogram)

John Cotton Dana (1856-1929) was a lawyer who spent much of his professional life managing libraries and library-related organizations, including a stint as President of the American Library Association. He led libraries in Denver, Colorado, Springfield, Massachusetts, and Newark, New Jersey. In 1909, he founded the Newark Museum which he directed until his death in 1929. Dana strongly believed in American art and opposed the purchase of expensive European oil paintings. Under his leadership, the Newark Museum acquired a large collection of Ashcan School paintings.

This plaque is one of two plaques that celebrate the Newark Museum. The other one honors its dominant benefactor, Louis Bamberger. The two plaques were probably issued to honor the spiritual and financial leaders of the Newark Museum upon completion of its building project.

The plaque measures 50.9mm x 69.7 and was struck by the Medallic Art Company.

References: MACo 1928-015

Louis Bamberger Plaque 1929
JF-LB
Bronze with brown patina

The obverse bears bust of Louis Bamberger facing left. Below, LOUIS BAMBERGER

The reverse bears a view of the front facade of the Newark, New Jersey Museum. Above, BUILDING GIVEN TO / THE MUSEUM OF NEWARK / NEW JERSEY / BY LOUIS BAMBERGER; below, M · C · M · XXV; signed at top, (JF monogram)

Louis Bamberger (1855-1944) was Newark's leading citizen and benefactor in the first half of the 20th century. He is noted for co-founding, together with his sister Caroline Bamberger Fuld, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He was a businessman and philanthropist and at his death all flags in Newark were flown at half-staff for three days, and his large department store closed for a day. Among the many charities supported by the Bamberger family was the Newark Museum; Bamberger personally funded the building.

This plaque is one of two plaques that celebrate the Newark Museum. The other one honors John Cotton Dana, the museum's founder and director. The two plaques were probably issued to honor the spiritual and financial leaders of the Newark Museum upon completion of its building project.

The plaque measures 50.9mm x 69.7 and was struck by the Medallic Art Company.

References: MACo 1928-015

Aphrodite 1932
SOM-6.1
Deep reddish brown with sea-green highlights
SOM-6.2
Glossy hematite red
SOM-6.3
Bright malachite green
SOM-6.4
Bright malachite green
SOM-6.5
Even blue-green with undercurrent of green bronze
SOM-6.7
Silver
SOM-6.8
Silver

This medal was chosen as the 6th issue of the prestigious Society of Medalists series. The obverse bears an elegant beauty, one hand toying with string of pearls; above, APHRODITE; in lower right, MCM (circled JF monogram) XXXII.

The reverse bears a relay runner passing the torch to another. In upper left, SWIFT RUN- / NERS; in exergue, JF © Sc.

Flanagan's career had peaked at this point and he reused older works for his medal. The obverse is based on a 1904 marble medallion which graced August Belmont's Knickerbocker Hotel in Manhattan. The reverse was originally created for a clock that was installed in the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress in 1902.

The medal measures 73mm in diameter and was struck by the Medallic Art Company of New York. The reported mintage is 1,494 in bronze and 125 in silver. The bronzes exist in many patina variants and even the silvers exist in two variants: one from the original silver run in the 1970's and one from a telemarketing promotion in 1993.

References: Baxter 163, MACo 1930-001-006, Marqusee 155

SOM-6.1
Bronze
73.0mm (2.87in)
Deep reddish brown with sea-green highlights
THE SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS SIXTH ISSUE
MEDALLIC ART CO.N.Y.
SOM-6.2
Bronze
73.0mm (2.87in)
Glossy hematite red
THE SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS SIXTH ISSUE
MEDALLIC ART CO.N.Y.
SOM-6.3
Bronze
73.0mm (2.87in)
Bright malachite green
THE SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS SIXTH ISSUE
MEDALLIC ART CO.N.Y.
SOM-6.4
Bronze
73.0mm (2.87in)
Bright malachite green
THE SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS SIXTH ISSUE
MEDALLIC ART CO.N.Y. / BRONZE
SOM-6.5
Bronze
73.0mm (2.87in)
Even blue-green with undercurrent of green bronze
THE SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS SIXTH ISSUE
MEDALLIC ART CO.-DANBURY, CONN
SOM-6.6
Bronze
73.0mm (2.87in)
Golden bronze with brown patina in fields and brighter high points
THE SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS SIXTH ISSUE
MEDALLIC ART CO.N.Y.
SOM-6.7
Silver
73.0mm (2.87in)
SPECIAL ISSUE - SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS / (c) 1993 FINE SILVER - MEDALLIC ART COMPANY
SOM-6.8
Silver
73.0mm (2.87in)
THE SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS SIXTH ISSUE - ONE OF LIMITED ISSUE OF 700
MEDALLIC ART CO.N.Y. - .999+ PURE SILVER
American Friends of Lafayette Medal1934
JF-LAF
Bronze

The medal's obverse bears standing figure of Lafayette, with right arm leaning onto pedestal with conjoined busts of Washington and Franklin. On pedestal, AMERICA'S / ADOPTED / SON; around, MDCCLVII - LAFAYETTE - MDCCCXXXIV; signed in exergue, 19 (JF monogram) 34

The medal's reverse depicts sword intertwined with branches of laurel, oak, and palm at center. Surrounding legend, THE AMERICAN FRIENDS OF LAFAYETTE -/- MAY XX - MCMXXXIV / CENTENARY OF HIS DEATH."

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

John Flanagan had already created a Lafayette medal in 1920 to commemorate the Knights' of Columbus donation of a Statue of Lafayette to the French city of Metz.

The medal measures 64mm in diameter and was struck by the Medallic Art Company of New York. Its mintage is not reported.

References: MACo 1934-024, Baker 200

Mark Twain, Centenary of His Birth 1935 (1950)
SOMSP-1.1

This uniface medal bears Samuel Longhorn Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain) seated in an easy chair holding a calabash pipe, facing left. In upper left, MARK TWAIN / CENTENARY OF HIS BIRTH / MDCCCXXXV-MCMXXXV. Below, between two standing figures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, ALWAYS DO RIGHT / THIS WILL GRATIFY / SOME PEOPLE / AND ASTONISH THE / REST.

For a long time this plaque was not recognized as a member of the prestigious Society of Medalists series. It was designed and is dated 1935 but it was actually first released to the wider public in 1950 as the first special commemorative issue of the series to celebrate the Society's 20th anniversary.

As it predates the series and was only re-released under the Society's imprimatur one can debate its status as a SOM medal, but regardless, it is a beautiful medal that deserves a place in your Society of Medalists collection.

References: MACo 1935-015, Marqusee 148

SOMSP-1.1
Bronze
58.0mm x 89.0mm (2.28in x 3.50in)
Medallic Art Company - Sculptors Dinner 1937
SD.1
Bronze with brown patina
SD.2
Gold-plated Silver

The obverse bears Saint-Gaudens' bearded bust, facing left. Above, AUGUSTUS SAINT-GAUDENS / STATUAIRE, ÆTATIS LVI. Lower left, MCM (circled JF monogram) XXXIV.

The reverse bears the text IN HONOR * * * / OF AN AMERICAN / SCULPTOR * * * / AUGUSTUS SAINT / GAUDENS * * * / SCULPTORS DINNER OF THE MEDALLIC ART COMPANY NY APRIL IX MCMXXXVII.

This plaque commemorates both the thirtieth anniversary of Augustus Saint-Gaudens' death and a dinner that assembled many of America's greatest sculptors in one place. Among the attendees were Paul Manship, George E. Brown, Mahonri Young, Henri Weil, Arthur Lee, Julian Levi, Jonas Lie, and Adolph Weinman. Hosted by the Medallic Art Company, the dinner in honor of Saint-Gaudens took place on April 9th 1937. Every guest was given one of the medals that had been designed by John Flanagan. The originals were made of bronze. A restrike in gold-plated silver was issued much later.

The plaque measures 46.1mm x 63.8 and was struck by the Medallic Art Company.

References: Baxter 164, Marqusee 140

SD.1
Bronze
MEDALLIC ART CO.N.Y. BRONZE
SD.2
Silver
MACO / 24 KT. G/P ON .999 SILVER
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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.

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