The 2009 Official Barack Obama Presidential Inaugural Medal

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President-elect Obama Honored with 2009 Official Presidential Inaugural Medal

The 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee has approved the Official Barack Obama Presidential Inaugural Medal.

Sculptor and medalist Marc Mellon modeled the portrait of Barack Obama that appears on the obverse (front) of the medal. The reverse of the medal is by well known medalist and former U.S. Mint engraver Thomas D. Rogers, Sr. The medals are being struck by Medalcraft Mint of Green Bay, WI, considered to be one of the finest private mint in America.

Sales of the medal raised funds for the inaugural events of January 20, 2009 in Washington DC.

Official Inaugural Medals have been coveted collectables going back to the beginning of the 20th century.  Theodore Roosevelt, feeling that the medal should reflect the highest standards of American art, asked the legendary sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens to design his medal.  Other well-known designers of the Official Inaugural Medal include Jo Davidson, who designed an FDR medal, and Paul Manship, who designed medals for both FDR and JFK.

Mellon medallions have previously served to honor President Jimmy Carter (recipient of the Albert Schweitzer Award for Humanitarian Service) and former US Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (awarded the  Ireland Chamber of Commerce in the United States Michael Smurfit Achievement Award for his work in helping to broker the peace treaty in Northern Ireland).

The artist tried to project a thoughtful and introspective Barack Obama.  Says Mellon, “I imagined Barack Obama thinking of Lincoln and of Martin Luther King, of the historic nature of his election, and of the serious challenges he's been chosen to face.”

Marc Mellon is known for portrait busts of luminaries around the globe, including bronze busts of Pope John Paul II (The Papal Apartments, The Vatican), President George HW Bush (The National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution), former Taiwanese President Lee Teng Hui, and legendary entertainer Tony Bennett.  Mellon's work is also well known to sports fans;  he is the sculptor of both the NBA MVP Trophy (The Maurice Podoloff Trophy) and the WNBA MVP.  His limited edition bronze dancers are widely collected, and have been exhibited from New York to Tokyo.

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