|The Adventures of Mutt and Jeff in Florida has been an on going story of two retired numismatists who seek out items related to their hobby at the local flea market each week and help at the two local monthly coins shows. Jeff is very active on the Internet with eBay putting up collectables for other club members, while Mutt spends much of his time researching recent medal accessions using the Internet and then donating them to the American Numismatic Society collection. Mutt just sent them nineteen medals he had been working on during the past three years. The medal shown below has been on his desk for over a year, unidentified. A recent Internet search of ' kaufman artist' found the story of the artist below.
Obverse: Portrait of young artist, a sculptor kneeling and holding an oversize model of a medal with a portrait of 5 men on it. He has a boaster, a sculptor's tool for carving, in left hand, within raised rim.
Reverse: THE HAMILTON MINT / Signature of Artist sculptor / MICO KAUFMAN / SPIRIT OF AMERICA, within raised rim.
Edge: .999 FS C HA 75 P 1640
Kaufman, Mico (1924- ) Mico Kaufman has had a major impact on official presidential inaugural medals in the last quarter of the twentieth century. He executed the designs for the 1973 Ford Vice-Presidential medal, the obverse of the 1974 Ford Presidential medal, the 1985 Reagan medal and the 1989 Bush medal. He also had contending designs for the 93, 97 and 2001 medals. Born in Romania in 1924 his art career was just beginning to show promise when World War II interrupted. Kaufman was to spend over three long years in Nazi concentration camps before the war ended. After the war he attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome for three years before immigrating to Massachusetts with his wife Katia. After many starts, stops and detours along the way Kaufman's career took off as a sculptor - engraver during the numismatic medal boom of the 1960s and early 70s. His numismatic works are numerous having received commissions for large series including one for over 190 medals for the U.S. Bicentennial. In 1978, the American Numismatic Association recognized Mico as its sculptor of the year. Kaufman's resume also includes monuments, many of which reside in the Tewksbury, Massachusetts area that resulted from encouragement and financial support of local Rotarians. The subjects include the French composer Claude Debussy, a Wamesit American Indian, humanitarian Helen Keller and her teacher, Anne Sullivan. In 1992 he received the SALTUS Medal Award from the American Numismatic Society.
Special thanks to Dick Johnson for providing artist and tool descriptions.