Pro Patria

  • Joseph E. Renier, Pro Patria, 1941, bronze, 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

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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.

Title
Pro Patria
Artist
Commissioner
Founder
Date
1941
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
2 7/8 in. (7.3 cm) diam.
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of the heirs of Albert Laessle: Mrs. Albertine de Bempt Laessle, Mr. Albert M. Laessle and Mr. Paul Laessle

Mediums
Mediums Description
bronze
Classifications
Keywords
  • Animal – bird – eagle
  • Figure group – female and child
  • Mythology – classical – Prometheus
Object Number
1972.167.26
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI