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Three Distinguished Artists to Judge National Humanities Medal Design Contest

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***The deadline for the contest to design a National Humanities Medal has been extended to March 15, 2013. See Challenge.gov for more details.***

WASHINGTON (December 5, 2012) – Three distinguished artists—sculptor George Anthonisen, metal artist Chunghi Choo, and sculptor-engraver Don Everhart—have been selected to judge the National Endowment for the Humanities’ (NEH) contest to design a new National Humanities Medal.

The National Humanities Medal is awarded annually by the President to individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities, broadened citizen engagement with humanistic fields, or helped preserve and expand access to resources in humanities areas. Past recipients have included authors such as Toni Morrison and Philip Roth, historians such as Stephen Ambrose and Robert Caro, filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg, and Nobel Laureates such as Elie Wiesel.

In a nationwide contest launched in October on Challenge.gov, NEH seeks design proposals for a new medal that reflects the values of the humanities and the importance of the contributions of the medal winners. To assist in selecting a winning design, NEH has assembled a panel of distinguished judges, selected for their expertise in the fields of art, sculpture, minting, and cultural management:

George R. Anthonisen is a figurative sculptor in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. His works are in the permanent collections of the U.S. Capitol, Hall of Columns; World Health Organization in Geneva; New York’s Carnegie Hall; The James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, PA; Center for Interfaith Relations in Louisville, KY; and the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia, PA, among others. His art has addressed such topics as starvation and the Holocaust. In 1971, the U.S. Department of the Interior appointed Anthonisen as sculptor-in-residence of the Augustus Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, New Hampshire. He is also the recipient of an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Ursinus College in Pennsylvania, to which he has bequeathed his entire collection of sculpture, frescoes, drawings and archival materials.

Chunghi Choo, jewelry designer and metalsmith, is the F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Professor of Art at the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History. She has pioneered the use of non-conventional materials in her work, which can be found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, and American Craft Museum in New York; Art Institute of Chicago; Victoria & Albert Museum in London; Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, Museum für Kunsthandwerk in Frankfurt, and Det Danske Kunstindustrimuseets in Copenhagen.

Don Everhart is a sculptor-engraver at the United States Mint. He created U.S. Statehood Quarter designs for Nevada, Hawaii and New Mexico, U.S. Presidential Dollar Coins of Ulysses S. Grant, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson and the Statue of Liberty, and ten Congressional Gold Medals.  His medal portrait of President William Clinton was chosen as the Official Inaugural Medal for President Clinton’s second term. He has worked at Franklin Mint and as a freelance designer, designing coins, medals, plates and figurines for the Royal Norwegian and British Royal Mints and companies such as Walt Disney Company and Tiffany. Everhart is the recipient of the American Numismatic Association’s 1994 Sculptor of the Year Award. His work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution, the British Museum, the American Numismatic Society and the National Sculpture Society.

Anthonisen, Choo, and Everhart will advise NEH Chairman Jim Leach, who will choose the final winning design, which should be beautiful, reflect the humanities, and be easily replicable as a medal.

Design proposals are due by February 1, 2013. Information on how to enter the contest, which is open to individuals 18 years of age and older, can be found at: http://humanitiesmedaldesign.challenge.gov/

The creator of the winning design will receive a $3,000 prize and an invitation to the unveiling of the final medal in Washington DC. The new medal design will premiere at the 2013 National Humanities ceremony at the White House and will serve the Endowment for into the future. The winner will be announced in April 2013.

For more information on NEH’s National Humanities Medal design contest, please see: http://humanitiesmedaldesign.challenge.gov/

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About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

Media Contacts: Paula Wasley at (202) 606-8424 or pwasley@neh.gov