GILROY ROBERTS GALLERY
1,000 sq. ft.
Community College of Philadelphia
Completed September 2013
Art and history intertwine through a collection of exquisite works by Gilroy Roberts, the Ninth Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint from 1948 to 1964. Mr. Roberts is best known for his design of the obverse (heads) side of the Kennedy half dollar, which was commissioned after the President’s death on November 22, 1963. The Gilroy Roberts: Mastering a Craft exhibit showcases many examples of his artistic talent, exceptional vision and passion for his work.
The 1,000 square foot exhibit is located in a newly designed gallery space in the Community College of Philadelphia’s Mint Building, which retains its name from its previous function—the third Philadelphia Mint, in operation from 1901 to 1969. It was in the Mint Building that Gilroy Roberts worked for almost two decades, appointed by the President of the United States, designing and engraving coins, and presidential and congressional medals. The treasures in this exhibit span Roberts’ career, walking you through the life of a highly accomplished artist that documented and created history. Examples of Gilroy Roberts’ work as the Ninth Chief Engraver at the US Mint (including his signature John F. Kennedy half dollar) are accompanied by his work at the Franklin Mint, and set in the context of Roberts’ personal journey as a mechanic, engraver, and artist. Against a backdrop of his re-imagined studio, an audio tour and multimedia display tell the narrative of Roberts’ life, work and creative processes. Visitors to the exhibition will come away with a flavor of the complex process from concept to finished product in coin production. They will have the opportunity to examine the “Art in your Pocket,” and see the art of coin in a fresh light.
Habithèque led the exhibit curation and content development, working closely with CCP throughout the process.