North Wilkesboro, North Carolina 1939
New Milford, Connecticut 2016
Luce Artist Biography
A prominent name in medallic arts, Gladys Gunzer became the first woman chosen to design an official United States presidential inaugural medal. The obverse of the 2005 medal features her sculpted profiles of President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney, commemorating their second term in office. She has also designed medals for several commissions, including the McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising, and the Third Millennium and Centennial medals for the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). After studying fine arts at the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina, Gunzer worked at the Medallic Art Company, which has produced the Pulitzer Prize, Peabody Award, and Caldecott medals. She worked her way up to senior sculptor and manager of the firm’s art department before leaving in 1990. Gunzer now lives in Arizona and works as a freelance medallic sculptor.