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Artistic Medals

Identifier: medart

Scope and Contents

Approximately 35 medals used for different purposes: commissions, portraits, and participation in the Society of Medallists or Medallic Art Company edition series. Some of the sculptors were affiliated with MICA, such as Joseph Maxwell Miller and Hans Schuler.

The medals created as a part of the Society of Medallists are mostly done in bronze, and on average adhere to dimensions of between 7 to 7.3cm. These pieces largely include proverbial writings such as “Whatsoever a man soweth / That he shall also reap.”

Medals created for specific events include the Augustus Saint-Gaudens small architectural relief commemorating a play performed by residents of Cornish, New Hampshire, in a celebration of the artists’ twenty years of residence there.

Several medals are portraits of people in the Baltimore community; for example, including Joseph Maxwell Miller’s portraits of James Cardinal Gibbons and Mary Isabel and Michael Jenkins. Other pieces were commissioned by organizations in the area.


  • [circa 1905-1950]


Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions. Request access at the Information Desk of the Decker Library between 12-6 p.m. on Saturday - Thursday and 12-4:30 p.m. on Friday, or email to make an appointment.

Biographical / Historical

Of the medals from this collection, 13 were affiliated with the Society of Medallists yearly editions. These artistic medallions seem to be open-ended in concept, and many hold some classical Greek mythological influences, referencing characters such as Ceres. Others have poetic writings such as, “harmony creates tranquility.”

20 of the medals were commissioned to commemorate specific events or people, such as the tribute to Mary Isabel and Michael Jenkins by Joseph Maxwell Miller, or the Evening Sun and Women’s Civic League Garden Contest medal by Perna Krick.

Most of the medals were produced by the Medallic Art Company, a global leader in the medal-making/medal-minting industry. The Medallic Art Company also held its own yearly exhibitions, for which 2 of these medals are thought to be made.


35 items

Language of Materials



The collection is comprised of artistic medals and other small relief sculptures that were collected within the Rinehart School of Sculpture. Many of the medals were created by artists through the auspices of the Society of Medallists, sometimes for the Society's annual edition.

The collection also includes pieces made by people affiliated with the Maryland Institute as alumni or faculty.


The medals are organized by purpose -- commissioned pieces, portraits, and pieces that were part of the Society of Medallist's edition series -- and then chronologically.

Custodial History

Most of the items were collected by someone affiliated with the Rinehart School of Sculpture and given to Decker Library's Special Collections by Douglas Frost.

Several of the pieces that were made by people affiliated with the Maryland Institute as alumni or faculty were in the custody of Decker Library before 1998.

Related Materials

The Society of Medallists’ website includes the information for every annual edition made. They also provide images of every medallion alongside information such as artist name and year.

Artistic Medals
In Progress
Amanda Tetso
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Decker Library Special Collections Repository

Maryland Institute College of Art
1300 West Mount Royal Avenue
Baltimore MD 21217 U.S.A.