Adolph Alexander Weinman

Adolph Alexander Weinman

Birth
Durmersheim, Landkreis Rastatt, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Death 8 Aug 1952 (aged 81)
Port Chester, Westchester County, New York, USA
Burial Woodside, Queens County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 139184495 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Sculptor. He is probably best remembered for his design of the US coins Walking Liberty half dollar that was issued by the US Mint for circulation from 1916 until 1947 and for the Mercury dime the US Mint issued from 1916 until 1945. Born Adolph Alexander Weinmann, his father was a shoemaker. In 1877 the family moved to Karlsruhe, Germany and in 1885 he immigrated with his mother to the US and Americanized his surname to Weinman. At age 15 he apprenticed with sculptor Frederick Kaldenberg and enrolled in evening classes at the Cooper Union and the Art Students League of New York with sculptors Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Philip Martiny. After fulfilling his five-year apprenticeship with Kaldenberg, he joined Martiny's studio. In 1895 he became the assistant director in the studio of Olin H. Warner and the following year he joined the Saint-Gaudens' studio. In 1904 he opened his own studio and his steadiest income was derived from the sale of small bronze reproductions of his larger works, such as "Descending Night," originally commissioned for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition at San Francisco, California in 1915. The same year, US Mint Director Robert W. Woolley set in motion with the Commission of Fine Arts, efforts to replace the Barber dime, quarter, and half dollar. The Commission disliked the sketches from the US Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber and selected sculptors Adolph A. Weinman, Hermon MacNeil and Albin Polasek to submit proposals for the new coins. In February 1916 he was notified that his sketches were accepted for the Walking Liberty half dollar and the Mercury dime, and models were created. The models were converted to finished died by the US Mint and after adjustments were made that delayed production, the new coins were finally struck for circulation in December 1916. In February 1917 the mint mark of the half dollar was moved from the obverse to the reverse, to eliminate the appearance of a die defect. His other noted work includes the Union Soldiers and Sailors Monument (1909) at Wyman Park in Baltimore, Maryland, the Abraham Lincoln statue (1909) in Hodgenville, Kentucky, the "Wisdom" Sphinx sculpture (1911 to 1915) at the House of the Temple in Washington DC, the William Cotter Maybury Memorial (1912) at the Grand Circus Park in Detroit, Michigan, the "Civic Fame" sculpture (1913), atop the Manhattan Municipal Building in New York City, New York, the "Glory of Peace" Frieze (1924 to 1926) at the Elks National Veterans Memorial in Chicago, Illinois, the Samuel Rea statue (1926) at Pennsylvania Station in New York City, the "Fountain of the Centaurs" sculpture (1926) at the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri, the "Destiny" Pediment (1935) at the National Archives Building in Washington DC, the "Drafting the Declaration of Independence" Pediment (1939 to 1943) at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC, and the "Riders of the Dawn" sculpture (1942) at the Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. He also designed various medals for the US Armed Services, including the identical reverses of the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and the American Campaign Medal. He was a member of the National Sculpture Society and served as its president from 1927 until to 1930 and he served on the US Commission of Fine Arts from 1929 to 1933. He was also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the National Academy of Design, and the New York City Art Commission, among other organizations. In 1946 his Mercury dime was replaced by the Franklin D. Roosevelt dime and in 1948 his Walking Liberty half dollar was replaced by the Benjamin Franklin half dollar. He died at the age of 81. His design for the obverse of the Walking Liberty half dollar is used as the obverse of the American Silver Eagle one-ounce bullion coin.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


Family Members


Advertisement

Plan a visit to Adolph Weinman?

Advertisement

Advertisement

How famous was Adolph Alexander Weinman?

Current rating:

28 votes

Sign-in to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: William Bjornstad
  • Added: 24 Nov 2014
  • Find A Grave Memorial 139184495
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Adolph Alexander Weinman (11 Dec 1870–8 Aug 1952), Find A Grave Memorial no. 139184495, citing Calvary Cemetery, Woodside, Queens County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .