French Heroes Fund Medal

Media - 1965.16.63 - SAAM-1965.16.63A-B_1 - 46056
Copied Paul Manship, French Heroes Fund Medal, 1918, bronze, 2 12 in. (6.4 cm) diam., Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist, 1965.16.63

Artwork Details

Title
French Heroes Fund Medal
Artist
Founder
Medallic Art Company
Date
1918
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
2 12 in. (6.4 cm) diam.
Credit Line
Gift of the artist
Mediums
Mediums Description
bronze
Classifications
Keywords
  • Figure group — male
  • Figure group — female and child
  • Occupation — military — soldier
  • Allegory — quality — charity
  • Allegory — place — America
  • Emblem — Fleur-de-lis
Object Number
1965.16.63

Artwork Description

The French Heroes Fund was established by Americans to rehabilitate wounded French soldiers, to help their families, and to aid children orphaned by the First World War. The fund purchased the childhood château of the Marquis de Lafayette---our ally in the American Revolution---and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars on behalf of the French. The obverse of Paul Manship’s medal depicts soldiers advancing past a fallen comrade on a battlefield strewn with wildflowers and fleurs-de-lis, the ancient badge of French glory. On the reverse, an allegorical figure of America wears the Phrygian cap and classical gown that also symbolize Marianne, France’s own “Lady Liberty,” who first appeared in images celebrating the French Revolution of 1789.