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The New York Public Library Medal
Date: 1961
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Medium: Bronze; cardboard, paper, silk, cloth
Dimensions: Container: 3 7/8 × 3 7/8 × 3/4 in. (9.8 × 9.8 × 1.9 cm) Overall (Medal): 2 1/2 in. (6.4 cm)
Place made: North America, United States, New York
Description: Bronze struck medal with obverse showing double-faced head with elderly sage looking downward representing learning and wisdom, at left, and upward-looking youth reflecting hope through aspiration to knowledge, at right; legend above: "EX SCIENTIA SPES" ("FROM KNOWLEDGE, HOPE"). Reverse shows sun emitting rays of light flanked by two classical columns adorned with fruit garlands; inscription below: "THE/NEW YORK/PUBLIC LIBRARY/1961." Black square cardboard fitted case with green silk velvet lining.
Object Number: INV.4372
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Marks: Inscription: case lid, inside, center: "Medallic Art Co./Nw York"

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This New York Public Library medal uses classical imagery to align contemporary life and learning with the well-established tradition of gaining knowledge and pursuing scholarship through reading. The NYPL was formed in 1895 with the joining of the previously established Astor and Lenox libraries.