Photograph of Frank Gasparro Examining a Plaster Model

Description (Brief)
The collection: The Art of Frank Gasparro offers a rare opportunity to follow the process of a twentieth century commercial artist as he developed coin designs from rough sketches to fine plaster models, to the coins that jingle in our pockets daily. Frank Gasparro was the tenth United States Mint Chief Engraver; perhaps most recognized for his design of the Lincoln Memorial on the reverse side of the cent that replaced the previous design, two ears of wheat. Douglas Martin of The New York Times quoted Christina Hansen (Gasparro’s daughter) in Gasparro’s obituary, “Frank Gasparro, 92, of Mint; Art Is on 100 Billion Pennies," October 3, 2001, “…he originally aspired to make sculptures like those of Rodin and Michelangelo, but came to take pride in his billions of lowly pennies. He was known to show cashiers the reverse side of a penny and announce that he had designed it.”
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1977
depicted (sitter)
Gasparro, Frank
original artist
Gasparro, Frank
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 18.2 cm x 12.8 cm; 7 3/16 in x 5 1/16 in
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Coins, Currency and Medals
Art - Currency
Art of Gasparro
See more items in
Armed Forces History: National Numismatic Collection
Art of Gasparro
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Christina Gasparro Hansen

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