Drawing of Peace Dollar Liberty by Peter Max (1983)

Drawing of Peace Dollar Liberty by Peter Max (1983)

Those of us that are a certain age remember growing up to with the artwork of Peter Max. His paintings and neo-expressionism posters are iconic representations of the pop culture of the 1960s. His vibrant colors made complex designs look simple as they some seemed to pop off the page. While times have changed and Max has worked on contemporary scenes, his style remains unique with an appeal that still brings a smile to my face.

Did you know that the American Numismatic Association owns a Peter Max original? While I was in Colorado Springs the week of February 19, I met briefly with Executive Director Jeff Shevlin in his office. Hanging on the wall across from his desk is a drawing of Liberty based on the design from Anthony de Francisci’s Peace dollar.

The picture looks like it was done in charcoal on paper. It is hand signed by Max and dated 1983. The picture is mounted on a fame that would have been contemporary to 1983 and has a plaque under the glass that reads:

Presented to
American Numismatic Association
August 20th, 1983

As a fan of the Peace Dollar and Peter Max, this is a fantastic picture.

1928 Peace Dollar is a classic and under-appreciated design

1928 Peace Dollar is a classic and under-appreciated design

Someone in the ANA offices said that this picture was the inspiration for the Peace dollar logo that used to be the official ANA logo. Remember, it was Farran Zerbe who helped push the idea of Peace dollar with his paper at the 1920 ANA convention in Chicago entitled “Commemorate the Peace with a Coin for Circulation.” In the paper, Zerbe wrote:

I do not want to be misunderstood as favoring the silver dollar for the Peace Coin, but if coinage of silver dollars is to be resumed in the immediate future, a new design is probable and desirable, bullion for the purpose is being provided, law for the coinage exists and limitation of the quantity is fixed—all factors that help pave the way for Peace Coin advocates. And then—we gave our silver dollars to help win the war, we restore them in commemoration of victory and peace.

Does anyone know why Max did this drawing? Who Vincent Van Rottkamp was and what was his association with this picture?

Maybe, we can convince Jeff to display the picture at an upcoming show for all members to enjoy.


  • Image of the Peter Max drawing by the author.
  • Quote from The Numismatist (October 1920) which can be found at Google Books
  • Image of the 1928 Peace dollar from the author’s collection.

Click on any image to see a larger version.

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