When the Commission of Fine Arts took a look at the fourth Lincoln commemorative cent reverse design for the year 2009 at its Feb. 21 meeting, Thomas Luebke, secretary of the commission, noted that it was for the third time.
The request for a design revision made at the January meeting to show a completed Capitol dome did not make it as an alternative at this meeting, so the commissioners settled on design No. 7 with Lincoln?s portrait removed, leaving just the standard inscriptions along with his signature.
The CFA was not trying to be funny. The members noted that the reverse ?should not have a portrait because it should not be a double-headed coin,? Luebke explained.
The commissioners also thought the designs showing the Capitol dome being constructed were overly complex for such a small-scale coin. Luebke summed it up by saying the commissioners felt that there is a ?tendency to put too much (visual) information into too small a space.?
For the obverse and reverse design alternatives for the commemorative silver dollar marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille, the inventor of the printed alphabet for the blind, the CFA reiterated its general support for profiles rather than portraits facing the viewer, Luebke said.
With that in mind, the commissioners picked obverse design alternative No. 10.
The also said that they would like to see the coin struck with the highest possible relief.
They wanted the ?1809? date removed, saying that the word ?bicentennial? could be substituted somewhere else.
For the reverse designs, Luebke said the opinion was more scathing. The commissioners, according to Luebke, said the designs had the ?appearance of poster art,? not suitable for coins.
They wanted the dots of the braille letters emphasized and the children removed from the designs.
The Commission of Fine Arts advises the Treasury Secretary about designs, but CFA opinions do not bind him in any way.
2009 Braille Commemorative Obverse Designs
2009 Braille Commemorative Reverse Designs
2009 Lincoln Cent Aspect 4 Designs