DIMENSIONS: H: 21" x W: 24" x D: 8"
Anthony de Francisci was born in Palermo, Italy in 1887. He immigrated to the United States in 1905 and became a naturalized citizen in 1913. He studied in New York City at Cooper Union and with James Earle Fraser at the Art Students League. He was employed as an assistant by a number of notable sculptors and philatelic designers, including Philip Martiny, Herman MacNell and Adoph Weinman. He later taught modeling at Columbia University and at the Beaux-Arts Institute.
De Francisci served as an Academician of the National Academy of Design and as a Fellow of the National Sculpture Society. He was elected a Fellow of the American Numismatic Society, Member of Allied Artists, Audubon Artists, and the Rockport Art Association.
Late in 1921, the Commission of Fine Arts held a competition for the design of a new silver dollar and invited “eight prominent sculptors to participate.” Several of the entrants had already designed U.S. coins and achieved considerable fame. Although the youngest participant and a novice coin designer, de Francisci “won the competition and took home the $1,500 cash prize.” Regarding this event, “The Dec. 20, 1920, issue of the Baltimore Sun reported…’Eight medalists, all of them from New York, were in the competition for the award. The designs in bas-relief were exhibited privately in the office of Raymond T. Baker, after he had shown the winning one to President Harding . The President expressed his pleasure and approval.'” Becoming the designer of the Peace Dollar and receiving considerable publicity as a result of this accomplishment greatly boosted the reputation of de Francisci, taking his career to a whole new level.
Among the many highlights of his long and distinguished career were these honors: Francisci was designs were chosen for the U.S. Silver Dollar, the U.S. Veteran’s World War II honorable discharge insignia, the Congressional Medal of Honor to General J.J. Pershing, and the United States Independence Memorial, Union Square, New York City.
The recipient of numerous prizes and awards for his sculpture, Anthony de Francisci is represented in many international collections and museums among them the Museum of Modern Art, Museum of the French Mint, Paris, Brookgreen Gardens, SC, Cincinnati Museum of Art.
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