American Women Quarters

When I was an active collector, I would have been up on the news that twenty American women will be depicted on the reverse side of quarters from this year through 2025. First up, Maya Angelou. Good choice. Artists are always good choices.

Aw-quarter---angelou.png

Monday was the release day for the leadoff design. (Image credit: By Sculptor: Craig Campbell, Medallic ArtistDesigner: Emily Damstra, Artistic Infusion Program – https://www.usmint.gov/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/2022-american-women-quarters-coin-maya-angelou-line-art-reverse.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=110931720)

Large scale, it looks good. How we’ll perceive it in its true size, experience will tell. 

2022-american-women-quarters-coin-uncirculated-obverse-denver.jpgGeorge gets a new look too, courtesy of a ninety-year-old design of a woman sculptor, Laura Gardin Fraser.

I wonder if American women of faith will be included. Dorothy Day would disapprove, perhaps as much as she would decline church sainthood. Whom would tyou readers choose, religious figure or otherwise?

I think my parish’s patron saint would make a perfect addition to the series. I’ll have to see about lobbying the SecTreas, who makes the final call.

I wish I knew the painter of the work from which I excerpted a circle, below. The artist signature is unreadable to me. Of course, the US Mint doesn’t colorize quarters, but in Katharine Drexel’s case, I wouldn’t object.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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4 Responses to American Women Quarters

  1. Liam says:

    Generally, I have felt many of the designs for the reverse of American coins in the last generation have been underwhelming in terms of beauty. Only a handful of the original American states quarters had a nobility to them: Connecticut’s Charter Oak, and Mississippi’s magnolias, for example. (The runner up for Massachusetts – for the USS Constitution – was better than the chosen design for the Minuteman that used the Concord statute by Daniel Chester French, but not the far superior design from the 1926 Sesquicentennial half dollar.) The somewhat cursive lettering and the outlines of the Angelou quarter strike me the same way. The pose is good, but limiting the detail to her head and turban makes the rest seem more like a cartoon (in the old fashioned sense – a design idea that has not been fully manifested).

    The current reverse for the penny is a disgrace.

    The 3/4 profile of Jefferson on the obverse of the nickel is the best design to happen to American pocketbook coins in a long time.

    • Liam says:

      PS: There’s a very long tradition of depicting Liberty by either archetypal (Classical allusions or Native Americans) or, more recently, historical (SB Anthony, Sacagawea), women on American coins. The 13 rays in the Angelou quarter are, I believe, meant to hearken to that tradition, but because they are off-centered more around the bird’s head than Angelou’s, and are just a wee bit overabstracted (they should have been pointed and given a bit more dimensional shaping), I think the intended effect is lost because of poor design.

  2. I rather like the simplicity of Texas. The MS was the only one of the 50 states where the governor declined to have a contest and the US Mint staff designed it.

    • Liam says:

      I like the corded boundary for the TX quarter, but felt the star’s size and placement was off. It had potential.

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