Irregular Postings on Coin Collecting & Numismatics - Both Canonical & Conanical

A Scion Society of The Baker Street Irregulars

Numismatists Do Not Fear Change

The National Medal of the Arts

The National Medal of the Arts

“I may call myself a patron of the arts. “

– The Sign of the Four (SIGN)


The National Medal of Arts, as per the National Endowment for the Arts website, “is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States government. The National Medal of Arts is awarded by the President of the United States to individuals or groups who “…are deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States.”

The large bronze medal is worn from a blue ribbon around the recipient’s neck and features several human figures in dance on the medal’s obverse. The reverse of the medal is fairly simple, with the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around the border with room for the recipient’s name and date of award to be engraved. The award was first presented in 1985 by President Ronald Reagan.

The medal was designed by Robert Graham. Graham is also the designer of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Dollar, which features his sculpture outside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Graham also sculpted the bronze bas-reliefs and a statue at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C. Roosevelt was an honorary member of the Baker Street Irregulars.

But we digress…..


In 2005, President George W. Bush awarded the National Medal of the Arts to actor Robert Duvall.  In the picture above, Duvall is third from the left in the back row.

We are familiar with Duvall as Dr. John Watson in the 1976 film The Seven Per Cent Solution, which had Nicol Williamson as Holmes. Below is the movie trailer from Universal Studios.

There is a second Sherlockian connection to the National Medal of the Arts. In 1993, Billy Wilder was presented with the National Medal of the Arts by President Bill Clinton. Wilder is known for producing and directing the 1970 United Artists file The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes.  Below, is a trailer for that film.


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