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Pro Patria

Pro Patria
Usage Conditions Apply
Joseph E. Renier, born Union Hill, NJ 1887-died New York City 1966
Medallic Art Company
Society of Medallic Arts
2 7/8 in. (7.3 cm) diam.
Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the heirs of Albert Laessle: Mrs. Albertine de Bempt Laessle, Mr. Albert M. Laessle and Mr. Paul Laessle
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Object number
Luce Center Label
Joseph Renier dedicated this medal “to all those who contribute their something to life, with the hope for the future, of the country and of humanity . . .” His words echo the Latin inscriptions meaning “For Country” and “For Humanity” that appear on the obverse and reverse of his design. Throughout the 1930s and into the 1940s, the theme of the mother and child appeared in sculptures, paintings, and posters praising the American way of life, especially as the dangers of European fascism grew stronger. On the reverse, the eagle devouring the body of Prometheus may be a reference to the German eagles displayed by the Nazi regime, which threatened the Western world when Renier designed this medal.
Data Source
Smithsonian American Art Museum
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Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Painting and Sculpture