Art: Too Many Eagles?

The art of the coinmaker is one of mankind's oldest. To the coiner and his fellow craftsman, the medalist, has gone the job of commemorating history's great events and famous men. The result, when an artist like Benvenuto Cellini went to work, was often a miniature masterpiece. In Madrid last week the Spanish government staged a sweeping show of 2,000 years of coin and medal-making and, with exhibits from 42 countries, took stock of the modern medalist's art.

The outstanding conclusion: in an age when most other arts have been going through revolutionary experiment, the medalists have been standing remarkably pat. Athletes,...

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