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Defense of Verdun Medal (alternative unused design)

1920 Paul Manship Born: St. Paul, Minnesota 1885 Died: New York, New York 1966 bronze 4 in. (10.3 cm) diam. Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the artist 1965.16.90 Not currently on view


Luce Center Label

Congress authorized a special gold medal honoring the sacrifice of the citizens of the French city of Verdun during World War I. The Commission of Fine Arts held a limited competition for medal designs in early 1920, and this medal is one of Paul Manship’s proposed designs. Imagery on the obverse associates the city’s medieval history with the modern bombardment of World War I, symbolized by the airplanes circling overhead. On the reverse, an angel hovers over the city bearing the sword of righteousness and a sheaf of wheat symbolizing God’s judgment of the righteous and the wicked.

Keywords

Architecture Exterior - castle

Architecture - vehicle - airplane

Figure female - full length

History - France - World War I

Landscape - France - Verdun

Object - weapon - sword

sculpture - medal

metal - bronze

cast

relief

About Paul Manship

Born: St. Paul, Minnesota 1885 Died: New York, New York 1966

More works in the collection by
Paul Manship