Larger Type
Smaller Type

Search Collections

World Unity or Oblivion

1945 Berthold Nebel Born: Basel, Switzerland 1889 Died: 1964 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 1972.167.33 Not currently on view

Luce Center Label

Research has not revealed the purpose of Berthold Nebel’s medal design, but the sculptor was one of many in Europe and the United States who created artworks memorializing the tragedy of the Second World War. On the obverse, an American soldier offers water to a wounded comrade. On the reverse, a mushroom cloud explodes over the abstracted bodies of thousands of war dead, signaling a new and terrifying threat that accompanied the end of the global conflict.


Disaster - accident - explosion

Figure group - male

Occupation - military - soldier

State of being - death

State of being - illness - wound

sculpture - medal

metal - bronze


About Berthold Nebel

Born: Basel, Switzerland 1889 Died: 1964

About Medallic Art Company

About Society of Medallic Arts