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Peace

1936 Albert Stewart Born: Kensington, England 1900 Died: 1965 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 1972.167.20 Not currently on view


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Research has not revealed the purpose of Albert Stewart’s medal, but the details offer clues. On the obverse, a stylized figure of Peace carries an olive branch high above a mountainous country. On the reverse, a man turns from his plow---which evokes the biblical proverb of turning swords into plowshares---to look back at a field of crosses marking the war dead. An inscription on the reverse appears to refer to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936. The war drew sympathizers from many nations into the International Brigades, military units of volunteers from different countries who fought for democratic government in Spain. A number of American artists were vocal supporters of the Republicans, who fought against General Francisco Franco’s royalist forces.

Keywords

Allegory - civic - peace

Architecture - machine - farm machine

Fantasy - winged being

Figure male - full length

Landscape - cemetery

Occupation - farm - farmer

sculpture - medal

metal - bronze

relief