Joel Iskowitz – a renowned American designer known for his extraordinary contributions to numismatics and art.

Joel Iskowitz

Joel Iskowitz is one of few living artists to have had his artwork displayed in the Pentagon, the Capitol, and the White House. He has created artwork for three decades that has graced the covers of books, periodicals, journals, public spaces, coins, and postage stamps worldwide. He is also an active United States Air Force (USAF) artist and has several oils in the USAF permanent collection.

Mr. Iskowitz has been invited twice to document Space Shuttle missions and his artwork is on permanent display at the NASA Kennedy Space Center Museum. His 54 minted designs for United States coins and medals are unparalleled in the history of American coinage for a private citizen/contractor.

He is the designer of both obverse and reverse of the New Frontier Congressional Gold Medal which was presented to the Apollo11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin and Mercury astronaut John Glenn, by the leadership of Congress on November 16, 2011, in the Rotunda of the Capitol.

The artwork for this medal has earned the Bronze Prize in the 2012 International Design Awards. In 2015, John Glenn nominated Mr. Iskowitz to receive the National Medal of the Arts, saying, “As a former U.S. Astronaut, I am proud of the artwork that he has done in honor of the American Space Program”. Also in 2015, Mr. Iskowitz became the first and only American artist to have his portrait of HRM Queen Elizabeth II grace the coinage of the United Kingdom.

His Buckingham Palace approved portrait of the Queen Mother (also a first for a U.S. citizen) was released in the UK by the Westminster Mint who acclaimed Mr. Iskowitz as” the greatest living coin designer in America, if not the world”. He has had designs for 17 Congressional Gold Medals selected and minted, the most recent of which itself won the Gold Medal in the 2016 International Design Awards.

Mr. Iskowitz’s work has been featured in many international journals; including profiles of his numismatic and philatelic art in CoinAGE Magazine; Watercolor Magazine, American Artist Magazine, Smithsonian Profiles, The Numismatist and the Wall Street Journal; and his murals have been featured in Exhibit Builder Magazine.

He has been awarded both bronze and silver medals for his corporate illustrations and grand-scale public art in international competitions. His design for the American Numismatic Association’s Presidential Award won the 2008 silver medal in corporate illustration in the International Creative Shake competition.

His design for the District of Columbia quarter dollar reverse was displayed at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History and his design for the reverse of the “Illinois” 2009 Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Cent is displayed in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and was displayed at the New York Historical Society Museum.

His reverse design for the 2011 Medal of Honor Commemorative Gold Coin is on permanent display in the U.S. Capitol’s Emancipation Hall. Mr. Iskowitz’s obverse design for the Congressional Gold Medal honoring the Nisei Soldiers of WWII will be displayed in major museums throughout the United States, including the National World War II Museum, New Orleans • Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Honolulu • Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles • De Young Museum, San Francisco • Oregon History Museum, Portland• Chicago History Museum, Chicago• and the Holocaust Museum, Houston.

It will be on permanent display in “The Price of Freedom,” an exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. A recently completed mural, which chronicles the history of aviation technology, has been installed at the Pentagon at the entry to the Department of the Air Force. A full- scale gicleé of this work is on display at Wright–Patterson AFB. His large-scale painting, ” The Other Side of the Coin” is installed in Airman’s Hall, the Pentagon and won international recognition in Artslant’s Showcase, 2011.

Mr. Iskowitz has also received the National Oceanic and Philatelic Society citation for his contributions to Space Philately. His obverse design for the Louis Braille Silver Dollar flew aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis on its mission to service the Hubble Telescope.

He continues to present his artwork in illustrated lectures at universities and professional organizations, including the Fashion Institute of Technology, Syracuse University, Marywood College, The Society of Illustrators, Fordham University, Hunter College, Montclair State University, the American Numismatic Association, the New York Numismatic Club, and the Shanghai Mint, China.

In 2015 CSPAN devoted an hour of airtime to his presentation at the Smithsonian’s Museum of American Finance,” Designing Congressional Gold Medals, An artist’s Perspective”. He is the founder of Icons of Inspiration and Goddesses Without Borders both ongoing missions to create international good will through the universal language of numismatics and art.

In May of 2011 he was inducted into the Hunter College Hall of Fame. In November of 2017, he was inducted into the Bronx Jewish Hall of Fame.

All images copyright Joel Iskowitz

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