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Pro Patria

1941 Joseph E. Renier Born: Union Hill, New Jersey 1887 Died: New York, New York 1966 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 1972.167.26 Not currently on view


Luce Center Label

Joseph Renier dedicated this medal “to all those who contribute their something to life, with the hope for the future, of the country and of humanity . . .” His words echo the Latin inscriptions meaning “For Country” and “For Humanity” that appear on the obverse and reverse of his design. Throughout the 1930s and into the 1940s, the theme of the mother and child appeared in sculptures, paintings, and posters praising the American way of life, especially as the dangers of European fascism grew stronger. On the reverse, the eagle devouring the body of Prometheus may be a reference to the German eagles displayed by the Nazi regime, which threatened the Western world when Renier designed this medal.

Keywords

Animal - bird - eagle

Figure group - female and child

Mythology - classical - Prometheus

sculpture - medal

metal - bronze

relief

About Joseph E. Renier

Born: Union Hill, New Jersey 1887 Died: New York, New York 1966

About Medallic Art Company

About Society of Medallic Arts

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