The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee was two for five when it came to agreeing on designs for “America the Beautiful” quarters for 2011 selected a week earlier by the Commission of Fine Arts.
Design No. 1 for Olympic National Park in Washington and design No. 3 for Glacier National Park in Montana received unanimous support from committee members when they met Jan. 26. Those designs were also chosen earlier by the CFA.
CCAC Chairman Mitch Sanders said member Gary Marks spoke passionately in favor of the selected design, and members felt that it captured the majesty of the park. They appreciated the inclusion of the mountain goat.
The combination of wildlife and scenery brought unanimous support for the Olympic National Park design, Sanders said.
About half of the three-hour meeting was devoted to discussion of the design for the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania, he said. Roger Burdette, and several other members, expressed a preference for alternative designs that were more evocative of the Battle of Gettysburg and its meaning, rather than depictions of the park itself, Sanders said.
The committee gave design No. 1 only 12 out of a possible 30 points.
“The relatively low point total for the committee’s preferred design is indicative of this division of opinion,” Sanders said.
After making its selection, the committee voted 7 to 2 to encourage the Mint to consider soliciting new designs of a more symbolic nature for this coin, he said.
The depiction of the U.S.S. Cairo on design No. 2 for the Vicksburg National Park in Mississippi got the committee’s nod with 27 of 30 points. Sanders said members liked how it reflected the importance of what historian John Alexander referred to as the “Brown Water Navy” during the Civil War. However, many members were drawn to the quality of the imagery in design No. 1, he said.
The CCAC gave 19 of 30 points to design No. 1 for Chickasaw National Park in Oklahoma. Members were intrigued by the perspective of the design with the leaves in the foreground, Sanders said, but some members were concerned that the human figure would be indistinct on the actual coin.
Following the design presentations, John Mercanti talked to the committee about die production.
The next CCAC meetings is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 23 at Mint headquarters in Washington, D.C.