Posted by Christopher Johnson | Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 | Uncategorized | 5 Comments
The US medal commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001 is now available to order. And do you remember how I mentioned before that I was leaning toward liking this design? Well now I’m leaning away from liking it.
Before I address why, let me emphasize the difficulty if not the impossibility of creating a work of art to commemorate an event like this one. Anything anyone comes up with will find more than a few detractors, people who will loudly declare that the design doesn’t come close to commemorating the importance of the event.
That said, I think this design falls short for three reasons:
(1) There is simply too much going on here. American coin, medal and seal design tends to cram in as much symbolism as it possibly can in hopes that something beautiful results. More often than not, it ends up looking like a busy mess.
(2) When a country issues a commemorative medal, it would be nice to know exactly what is supposed to be commemorated thereon. “Always remember” the decade between 2001 and 2011? Why?
Lots of events happened during that period. George W. Bush was reelected president. Barack Obama was elected president. And most important of all, the St. Louis Cardinals won the 2006 World Series. Exactly what are we supposed to remember here?
(3) The art on this medal is more than a little…awkward. That eagle is supposed to be flying toward cascading water. But if I hadn’t been told that, it would look for all the world like that eagle was about to fly into a chain-link fence.
All that said, am I still going to buy one or two copies of this? Of course.