Catalogue number
  • Art.IWM MED 894
Art and Popular Design
Production date
Place made
Subject period
  • medium: bronze
  • Support: Diameter 68 mm
Alternative names
  • object category: medallion
Decorations and awards

© IWM (Art.IWM MED 894)

Object description

piece : obverse design : President Woodrow Wilson, bust, three-quarter left profile. The bust is flanked, left, by a flaming torch, the rim of its bowl marked "LIBERTE" and, right, by the fasces marked "DROIT". Below the bust a panel bearing text and, at centre base, the American eagle. The design is enclosed by a circle composed of forty-seven small five pointed stars piece : obverse text : "WILSON" piece : reverse design : Britannia and Marianne, standing, facing left, the former wearing a small crown and holding a trident, the latter wearing a Phrygian cap. The two figures greet a third woman, Columbia, personifying the United States, diademed, carrying a rifle in her left hand. In the background a shell-shattered landscape, an artillery piece in the left middle distance and on the horizon, left, a church- like building in flames piece : exergue : "Le droit est plus précieux que la Paix...Nous nous battons pour la Liberté" prefixed by small leaf-shaped mark


French First World War portrait medal by René Grégoire (1871-1945) commemorating the American President Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924). Specifically the piece celebrates the American declaration of war against Germany on 6 April 1917 and the allegorical reverse design shows the USA being welcomed into the field of battle as an ally. The text in the exergue (on reverse) is translated as 'Justice is more precious than peace...We fight for freedom'. Despite this optimistic imagery the American build-up of troops on the Western Front took some considerable time and it was not until the summer of 1918 that their enthusiasm, commitment and ever-increasing numbers became decisive factors in the eventual resolution of the conflict.



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