In my post yesterday, I forgot to include another thing I found that was interesting. The exhibit had a display about the Circle of Friends of the Medallion. This was how the organization was described by its founders:
a band of artists and lovers of the arts, of both sexes, who hope to encourage in the public a taste for small sculptures and especially for bas-relief. Designs are chosen by the Art Committee. Medals and other sculptures issued by the Circle go to members only, without charge beyond the annual dues. They are not offered publicly for sale. They are of bronze, unless a costlier metal is called for at an additional cost.
As you can see from the picture, the medals were set inside a hardbound book with an essay on the piece. The Society was established in 1909 and the final edition was issued in 1915. It fascinated me that in that era it was actually feasible to not only produce a bronze medallion but fabricate a small edition of books with a die-cut recess just to hold it an the accompanying literature. The cost of doing something like that today would be prohibitive. (My husband would say that this would be precisely to appeal to me – a lovely thing so time-intensive to make that no one could ever make it a viable business!)
Still, the basic idea behind the Society was interesting to me. It would be possible in our community to issue a yearly medallion and package it in an appealing way. Of course I’d be more interested in ceramic medallions than bronze, but that’s my own bias showing! I just wonder if there would be enough interest that such a ‘society’ would have members?