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George T. Morgan was an artist - a sculptor and coin designer - in the late 1800's and early 1900's. One of his most famous works of art is instantly recognizable as an American classic: the Morgan silver dollar, minted in Philadelphia, New Orleans, Carson City, Denver, and San Francisco from the 1870's until 1921.
Today most collectors know Morgan as the father of this legendary silver coin. Specialists are familiar with his designs for commemoratives and medals, and his significant work in U.S. pattern coins.
But who exactly was George T. Morgan?
Karen M. Lee, a curator of the National Numismatic Collection housed at the National Museum of American History, finally answers that intriguing question. Introducing Morgan's never-before-published personal sketchbook, and with unique access to family photographs and documents, Lee reveals the man behind the coins.
This amazing new work, The Private Sketchbook of George T. Morgan, is an eye-opening immersion into the designer's life of art and labor. Central to this beautifully illustrated volume are 80 pages of Morgan's personal and professional sketchbook - the entirety of the creative journal that he carried from his native England to the United States in the 1870's - which is one of the treasures of the Smithsonian's National Numismatic Collection. Morgan worked out his designs in this book not over weeks or months, not even simply for a few years, but over the course of nearly two decades. The sketchbook could easily have been lost to history over the nearly 100 years since Morgan died in 1925. Now brought to light for the first time, it shows us the creative process of one of America's unsung artistic geniuses.
- a foreword by Dr. Richard Doty, senior curator of the National Numismatic Collection
- an in-depth historical background on George Morgan's life
- family photographs, personal letters, and documents
- behind-the-scenes correspondence from the U.S. Mint and Britain's Royal Mint
- analysis and interpretation of Morgan's drawings
- never-before-published images
- an illustrated catalog of Morgan's American numismatic works
- an appendix of primary-source documents