George T. Morgan
Other names: George W. Morgan
Died 4 January 1925
Active: 1870 - 1925
Country of birth: England
Country of death: United States
Sculptor, medallist, die-engraver
Born in Bilston, Staffordshire. Morgan studied at the art school in Birmingham and then won a National Scholarship to the National Art Training School at South Kensington where he studied for two years. He then worked for John Pinches between c.1873-75. In 1876 Morgan moved to the USA to take up an appointment as an assistant engraver at the United States Mint in Philadelphia, although he does not seem to have given up his London address until about 1879. He worked under William Barber and then his son, Charles E. Barber who were the chief engravers. Morgan became chief engraver in 1917 and remained at the Mint until his death aged 79.
One of his best known works was the so called 'Bland Dollar' first struck in 1878. Amongst his medals were: 'David Roberts 1796-1864' executed in 1875 for the Art Union Co. of London; 'Thomas Carlyle on his 80th Birthday' engraved by Boehm; and 'Railway Exhibition at Chicago 1883' in conjunction with Barber Henry Bessemer, 1879 (a specimen in gold was presented to HM Edward VII in 1906 and is now in the Royal Collection).
'The Numismatist, February 1925, carried his obituary: 'George T. Morgan, chief engraver for the Philadelphia Mint, died suddenly on January 4 at his home, 6230 McCallum Street, Germantown. He was 79 years old. Despite his advanced years Mr. Morgan had been active until a few days before his death, when he became ill. Prior to that he had been engaged in modeling a series of medals in commemoration of the secretaries of the Treasury of the United States from Alexander Hamilton down. Mr. Morgan had made the models for and engraved medals commemorating the administration of every president since Rutherford B. Hayes. He collaborated with the country's noted sculptors in designing the country's coinage and, to a considerable extent, in adapting such models to use on postage stamps of all denominations. His work made him personally known to all the presidents of recent times. His employment by the United States government in the Philadelphia Mint covered a period of 48 years. The famous Bland silver dollar was one of his coin engravings. His initials appeared on a large proportion of all the coins issued in the last quarter of a century or more by the Mint. Born in Birmingham, England, in 1845, he studied at art schools in that country, and came to Philadelphia to enter the Engraving Department of the Mint. He brought with him the Englishman's love of cricket as a sport and was one of the founders of the old Belmont Cricket Club in West Philadelphia. He retained his interest in the game to the last and was an active member of the Germantown Cricket Club. He was a man of striking physique and his years sat lightly on him. He was a life member of the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts and a member of the Sketch Club. He was for many years a vestryman of Christ Protestant Episcopal Church, Germantown, and superintendent of its Sunday school. He is survived by his widow and three children-Miss Phyllis Morgan, Leonard P. Morgan, who is an electrolytic chemist in the United States Assay Office at New York, and Mrs. C.M. Graham.'
Dates are usually the year a work was exhibited so may differ from date of production.
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Medal of David Roberts
Commissioned from the Art Union of London in 1865 awarded in
Medals, and Carved Steel Punches for Medals
Case of Medals
Address 16 Radnor Road Handsworth Birmingham | View on map
May have been staying with Joseph J. Griffin, a 'Manufacturing Jeweller' (born c.1867, Birmingham) who is the person listed at this address in the Census Returns of 1901
Exhibitions, Meetings, Awards and other Events
Award received from National Scholarships, 1863
1866 - 1868
Listed as a National Scholar at the National Art Training School, London. Die Sinker, aged 21, from Birmingham, who was 'engaged as Die Sinker by Messrs Wyon, afterwards at Washington Mint' (see 'List of National Scholars', 1884).
Exhibited at The Thirty-sixth Spring Exhibition at the Rooms of the Society, New Street (Royal Birmingham Society of Artists), 1901
'Medals, and Carved Steel Punches for Medals'
Exhibited at The Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts (Summer Exhibition), 1768-
1868 - 1881
Exhibited 11 times, one or more medals (including works for the Art Union).
Won prize Modelling Class Prizes (Birmingham Society of Arts and Government School of Art), 1851-1866
1866 - 1867
Won prizes at the school in 1866. The student is listed under the name 'George Morgan'.
Institutional and Business Connections
Commissioned by Art Union of London
1873 (Circa) - 1878
Executed a number of commissions for medals from the Art Union which were exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1873, 1874, 1876 and 1878
Studied at Birmingham Society of Arts and School of Design
1866 - 1867
Probably studied here; there was a student named George Morgan
Worked for Messrs Pinches & Co
1873 - 1875
Morgan is listed as working for 'Mr. Pinches' from c. 1873 to 1875: see Forrer, vol. 4, (1909), p. 148.
Descriptions of Practice
Listed as medallist Biographical Dictionary of Medallists, Coin, Gem, and Seal-Engravers, Mint Masters, &c., Ancient and Modern with References to their Works, B.C. 500 - A.D. 1900, Volume IV, 1909 Biographical Dictionary of Medallists
Listed as a sculptor and medallist. Forrer states that the artist worked for 'Mr. Pinches' from c. 1873 to 1875, and 'later went over to the United States, and was Assistant Mint-engraver at Philadelphia (U. S. A.) under William Barber and Charles E. Barber' from c. 1876 to 1890. He produced various medals including 'David Roberts, 1796-1864', for the Art Union Company, London, in 1875. See Forrer, vol. 4, (1909), p. 148. Forrer gives Evans, 'History of the U. S. Mint and Coinage' (1892), and Watson, 'History of the American Coinage' (1899), as sources.
Listed as medallist Biographical Dictionary of Medallists, Coin, Gem, and Seal-Engravers, Mint Masters, &c., Ancient and Modern with References to their Works, B.C. 500 - A.D. 1900, Volume VIII, 1930 Biographical Dictionary of Medallists
Forrer lists medallic works dating between 1870 and 1915, many of which were exhibited at the Royal Academy, London. See vol. 8, (1930), pp. 76-77.
Occupation given in Census Returns of England and Wales, 1871
'Die engraver' also his brother (presumed) Walter (born c.1848) a 'porcelain painter' and Thomas Cox (born c.1847 in Birmingham) a 'Designer & Draughtsman'
Biographical Dictionary of Medallists, Coin, Gem, and Seal-Engravers, Mint Masters, &c., Ancient and Modern with References to their Works, B.C. 500 - A.D. 1900, Volume IV, 1909 Biographical Dictionary of Medallists
Biographical Dictionary of Medallists, Coin, Gem, and Seal-Engravers, Mint Masters, &c., Ancient and Modern with References to their Works, B.C. 500 - A.D. 1900, Volume VIII, 1930 Biographical Dictionary of Medallists
Census Returns of England and Wales, 1871
RG10 piece 51 folio 75 page 30
The Numismatic Circular, 1907
Citing this record
'George T. Morgan', Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011 [http://sculpture.gla.ac.uk/view/person.php?id=msib4_1202991268, accessed 29 May 2016]