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Rejoice Oh Young Man in Thy Youth

1936 R. Tait McKenzie Born: Almonte, Ontario, Canada 1867 Died: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1938 Medallic Art Company (Founder) Society of Medallic Arts (Commissioner) bronze 2 7/8 in. (7.3 cm) diam. Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the heirs of Albert Laessle: Mrs. Albertine de Bempt Laessle, Mr. Albert M. Laessle and Mr. Paul Laessle 1972.167.18 Not currently on view


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Robert McKenzie’s medal design reflects the artist’s experience as a gymnast and physical trainer as well as his enthusiasm for the wholesome life he portrayed in many of his sculptures. On the obverse, a classical nude appears as a shot-putter, while on the reverse a line of youths in a footrace appear as natural in their element as the birds in the sky and the greyhound that keeps pace with the men. In the 1930s, images of healthy, virile men compensated for the vulnerability sensed by many Americans facing the Depression and years of drought. Research is inconclusive, but McKenzie’s medal may also be related to the 1936 Olympics.

Keywords

Animal - bird - swan

Animal - dog

Figure group - male - nude

Figure male - full length

Figure male - nude

Recreation - sport and play - running

Recreation - sport and play - shot put

sculpture - medal

metal - bronze

relief

About R. Tait McKenzie

Born: Almonte, Ontario, Canada 1867 Died: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1938

About Medallic Art Company

About Society of Medallic Arts