Artist Name

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

  • The Prodigal Son 1988
    by Leonda Finke
    SOM-117.1
    Golden bronze with tan patina

    This design by Finke was chosen as the 117th issue of the prestigious Society of Medalists series.

    Its obverse bears nude couple at left with backs to viewer; angry youth storming off at right.

    The reverse bears returned prodigal son at center being embraced by parents; flowers to left and right. At lower right, signed LEONDA F FINKE

    Leonda Finke used her own experiences, both as a child and as a mother, to create a medal that had meaning. While previously the majority of her body of work had been sculptural and dealing with the female form, she wrote in the brochure accompanying this medal:

    "Only recently have I begun to explore the art of the medal. The Prodigal need not relate only to the son. Our deepest life experiences are not necessarily gender oriented. I was a prodigal daughter in my own youthful rebellion and struggle for independence. Today I also appreciate the other side of the relationship as a parent of adult children who fled and returned—each in a different way."

    The medal measures 73mm x 70mm and was produced by the Medallic Art Company. The edition was limited to 2,500 pieces in bronze but the actual mintage is not known.

    SOM-117.1
    Bronze
    73.0mm x 70.0mm (2.87in x 2.76in)
    Golden bronze with tan patina
    SOM 117 1988 LEONDA FINKE LTD EDITION 2500 MACO BRONZE
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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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