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SOM#036, Henry Kreis, The Wise and Foolish Virgins, 1947
From the Collection of John Birks

Numbers Issued: 599 Bronze, 50 Silver


"The story of the five wise and the five foolish virgins appeared first in the New Testament. The few lines of Tennyson on the reverse of the medal will recall it to those who should have forgotten it.

It used to be a popular subject matter on early cathedrals, probably because the arrangement of ten figures and also the two different types of character lend itself to countless variations.

On a medal it was logical to use one type for each side and so it came about, that one of the wise virgins, who of course had to get the place of honor, forms an orderly group with the four others of her kind.

It was the poor girls on the reverse, who had my sympathy. They are a bit too small to show their distress in facial expression but perhaps the whole arrangement on the stairs betrays their state of confusion. The two alley cats, who passed by in the night, stood there and pitied them and wondered what it was all about and helped nicely to tie the lettering to the figures, which was another reason they had sneaked into the picture.

Both sides of the medal were not modeled, but cut directly from negative into plaster, which permits a sharp and clear execution of the smallest details and guides the sculptor into a simple, uncomplicated design."


Henry Kreis was born in 1899, studied in Munich and the Beux Art School of Design in New York.

Awards: Lindsay Morris Sterling Memorial Prize for Medals, George D. Widener Gold Medal, Philadelphia, 1942, "Artist for Victory" Exhibition $2500 Prize, 1942, Honorable Mention in Sculpture: Architectural League, 1938 and Connecticut Academy, 1939, 1946.

Represented: Metropolitan and Whitney Museums, Pennsylvania Academy and others.

Work: U.S. Coinns: Connecticut Tercentenary Half Dollar, Bridgeport, Connecticut Commemorative Half Dollar, Senator Robinson, Arkansas, commemorative Half Dollar.

Medals: Tercentenary Medal for the State of Connecticut, Medal of Honor for the National Sculpture Society, 1940, Official World's Fair Medal, Medal New York, 1939.

Sculpture on Public Buildings in Wahsington, D.C. and other citeis.

Monument:[/i} "The Birth of a Nation," Fairmont Park, Philadelphia.

Late, Late, so Late

by Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

Late, late, so late! and dark the night and chill!
Late, late, so late! but we can enter still.
Too late, too late! ye cannot enter now.
No light had we: for that we do repent;
And learning this, the bridegroom will relent.
Too late, too late! ye cannot enter now.
No light: so late! and dark and chill the night!
O, let us in, that we may find the light!
Too late, too late: ye cannot enter now.
Have we not heard the bridgegroom is so sweet?
O, let us in, tho' late, to kiss his feet!
No, no, too late! ye cannot enter now."

Renard,_Marcel_Claude,_Adornment,_1928,_uniface.jpg Roettiers_AmatAureaCondereSaecla_combo.jpg SOM#036-combo.jpg Dropsy, Emile, Regina Coeli, 1970.jpg
Soddemann Hans  [Apr 12, 2008 at 02:02 PM]
zeitlos, mit Lebensweisheit,