The Commission of Fine Arts approved designs for several but not
all of the 2013 coins it examined during its Oct. 20 meeting in
By the time the Mint’s 45-minute presentation was over the panel
had declined to select designs for the 2013 Francis Cleveland (second
term) First Spouse gold coin and two of the 2013 America the Beautiful
For New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest quarter dollar,
it recommended a design showing Mount Washington through a grove of
white birch trees.
For the Great Basin National Park in Nevada it urged a design
showing a gnarled bristle cone pine, one of the oldest trees in America.
For Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, it urged a
view of workers hanging from ropes as they carved the faces of the presidents.
The commission rejected all designs for the Fort McHenry National
Monument and Historic Shrine in Maryland.
Committee chairman Earl A. Powell III complained that the four
Mint designs were “more about soldiers than forts” and urged that the
Mint consider an aerial view of the Baltimore fort’s unique design.
The three proposed designs for Ohio’s Perry Victory and
International Peace Memorial were also rejected as “problematic.”
Cynthia Meals Vitelli, the Mint’s presenter, thanked the
commission for its views and promised to relay them to Mint officials.
2013 First Spouse coins
The First Spouse program for 2013 calls for a gold $10 coin and
bronze medal bearing the image of suffragist Alice Paul to be issued
along with two coins and medals for Francis Cleveland, whose husband
served two nonconsecutive terms as president, and a coin and medal for
Caroline Harrison, wife of Benjamin Harrison.
The Alice Paul coin was directed by Congress to be placed in the
First Spouse series because President Chester Arthur was a widower
when he served as the 21st president.
The commission urged a frontal view of Paul for the obverse of the
Paul coin and opted for a view showing a woman carrying a banner
“Votes for Women” and an American flag for the reverse. Because
Cleveland served two interrupted terms, he gets two coins in the
Presidential dollar series, and his wife gets two in the First Spouse series.
For the first term, the commission backed a view of Frances
Cleveland with a coy smile and a tilted head. For the reverse, they
urged a design showing her shaking hands with three women at one of
her Saturday receptions for working women. The panel liked that design
because it showed the figures were happy to be with the first lady,
unlike other designs that they considered too somber.
For the Caroline Harrison coin, the commission selected a
left-facing profile. For the reverse they picked a design showing
several White House china designs. China and china paintings were
avocations of Mrs. Harrison, the Mint said.
After finding little support for any of the designs for the
Cleveland second term, Powell announced, “We’re going to pass on this
one.” The commission’s members made no recommendation for either side
of that coin. ■