Sunday, November 4, 2012

Background on the Society of Illustrators Medal

Tomie asked Kate Feirtag, Exhibition Director, Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators, if she had any information about the beautiful Society of Illustrators medal.

Richard J. Berenson, Past President of the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators replied:

"The bas-relief of the Bison shown on the face of the medal is adapted from the wall painting in the cave of the Font-de-Gaume at Les Eyzies in Southern France, and was one of man's earlier art efforts. The species of Bison, now almost extinct, differs somewhat from the North American form, with a rather small head, neck and shoulders. Just what prompted Prehistoric man (in this case the Cro-Magnon type, who lived about 10,000 years ago) to draw pictures of this sort is hard to say. They may have been done to propitiate the game to be later used as food, or simply to satisfy an artistic urge and northing more - just as one might paint a picture today.  --Charles R. Knight

"The medal was sculpted by Mario Cooper from designs by Robert Foster."