Joseph Wright - American Painter and US Mint Designer and Engraver

Welcome Guest! Need help? Our coin forum is completely free and you can get help in minutes. Register Now!

Joseph WrightJoseph Wright (July 16, 1756 – September 13, 1793), born in Bordentown, New Jersey, was a portrait painter who was affiliated with the United States Mint in the late 1700s. It is thought that either he or Henry Voigt designed the Liberty Cap Cent, although most historians and numismatists today credit the design to Wright. He also presumably designed the 1792 Quarter dollar pattern. He was George Washington's original choice for the Chief Engraver of the Mint, but he died before being inducted into the position.

Biography

His mother, Patience Wright, often regarded as America's first sculptor, ran a wax modeling studio in New York City. In 1772, she moved to London to open a studio and waxworks there. Six years later, in 1775, Joseph, Jr. joined his mother in England and became the first American-born student to matriculate in the Royal Academy of Arts in London, where he studied for 6 years. He won a silver medal for "the best model of an Academy figure" in December 1778. In 1780, he caused a scandal at the Royal Academy by exhibiting a portrait of his mother sculpting a wax head of King Charles II, while busts of King George III and Queen Charlotte looked on.

In 1781, Wright and his mother traveled to Paris. While there, he painted several portraits of Benjamin Franklin. After 7 years in Europe, Wright returned to America in 1782, where he became the first of just two artists to make a plaster mold of George Washington. Thomas Jefferson judged Wright's portrait of Washington very highly. "I have no hesitation in pronouncing Wright's drawing to be a better likeness of the General than Peale's," he wrote in 1795.

Early in his Presidency, Washington and Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, diligently sought after talented European engravers to design the first United States coins. However, they failed in this endeavor and ultimately decided that Wright would become the unofficial Engraver at the nascent Philadelphia Mint in the second half of 1792. In August, 1793, Joseph was designated as the Mint's "First Draughtsman & Diesinker." Wright was responsible for the design of Liberty Cap designs on both the half and large cents. These designs were based upon the obverse of the Libertas Americana medal on which Wright is believed to have been the designer. Large Cent varieties of 1793 are his creations.

Marriage and Death

On December 5, 1789, Wright married Sarah Vandervoordt in Philadelphia. They had three children, Sarah, Joseph, and Harriet. Wright and his wife both died, most likely as a result of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793.

Joseph Wright Related Items on eBay

eBay Certified Application

Click on any of the boxes to see much larger images.

All Joseph Wright related items on ebay

COPPER COIN 1OZ. ROUND FINE .999 BULLION JOHN FLANAGAN'S 1931 EAGLE DESIGN
COPPER COIN   1OZ. ROUND   FINE .999 BULLION   JOHN FLANAGAN'S 1931 EAGLE DESIGN
USA OLYMPIA JOHN FLANAGAN HAMMERWURF ANSEHEN 15881/2258N
USA   OLYMPIA   JOHN FLANAGAN   HAMMERWURF   ANSEHEN  15881/2258N
1915 SCHOOL ART LEAGUE OF NEW YORK CITY MERIT MEDAL JOHN FLANAGAN SC.
1915 SCHOOL ART LEAGUE OF NEW YORK CITY MERIT MEDAL JOHN FLANAGAN SC.
JOHN FLANAGAN AMERICAN 1865 1952 BRONZE MEDAL SCULPTOR AUGUSTUS SAINT GAUDENS
JOHN FLANAGAN AMERICAN 1865 1952 BRONZE MEDAL SCULPTOR AUGUSTUS SAINT GAUDENS
1907 JOHN FLANAGAN PLAQUE MEDAL LEO TOLSTOY MEDALLIC ART CO CASTING 121 X 165MM
1907 JOHN FLANAGAN PLAQUE MEDAL LEO TOLSTOY MEDALLIC ART CO CASTING 121 X 165MM
SCHOOL ART LEAGUE OF NYC MERIT AWARD BRONZE MEDAL MEDALLIC ART CO. JOHN FLANAGAN
SCHOOL ART LEAGUE OF NYC MERIT AWARD BRONZE MEDAL MEDALLIC ART CO. JOHN FLANAGAN
1935 RE RELEASED 1950 MARK TWAIN CENTENARY OF HIS BIRTH BY JOHN FLANAGAN
1935  RE RELEASED 1950  MARK TWAIN CENTENARY OF HIS BIRTH BY JOHN FLANAGAN
1915 SCHOOL ART LEAGUE OF NEW YORK CITY MERIT AWARD. SOLID BRONZE. JOHN FLANAGAN
1915 SCHOOL ART LEAGUE OF NEW YORK CITY MERIT AWARD. SOLID BRONZE. JOHN FLANAGAN
 

Disclaimer: While a tremendous amount of effort goes into ensuring the accuracy of the information contained in this site, Coin Community assumes no liability for errors. Copyright 2005 - 2021 Coin Community Family- all rights reserved worldwide. Use of any images or content on this website without prior written permission of Coin Community or the original lender is strictly prohibited.
Contact Us  |  Advertise Here  |  Privacy Policy / Terms of Use