John Flanagan (1865-1952) of New York was a medalist who also studied under St. Gaudens. He produced several medals and sculptures. His most famous work is the Washington Quarter first produced in 1932 to commemorate the 200’th anniversary of George Washington’s birth.

The choice of Flanagan’s design was controversial because the Commission of Fine Arts and the Washington Bicentennial Commission chose Laura Frasier’s design as being far superior to all the 100 entries in a competition. Super rich financier and Treasury Secretary Andrew Melon pushed through his choice and America had a new quarter in 1932. It is said Melon’s choice was made not for artistic reasons but because he was a male chauvinist.

Astute readers may recognize the name Frasier in the context of coin design. Laura Gardin Frasier was the wife James Earle Frasier who designed of the Buffalo Nickel. A more recent Commission of Fine Arts chose Laura Frasier artistic design to grace the 1999 $5 Gold coin that commemorates the 200’th anniversary of Washington’s death.