SOM#047, Gifford MacGregor Proctor, Fly Fishing, 1953
From the collection of John Birks
Number Issued: 834 Bronze
FROM THE ARTIST
Four factors influenced my choice of subject matter.
The first being the renaissance medals by Matteo De’ Pasti of the Italian family, the Malatestas of Rimini. These medals made an indelible impression on me because of their simplicity of design and treatment.
The second is my longing for the trout stream and the salmon river, a longing which was forever deeply engraved on my soul after fishing the streams of the Canadian camp of the founder of the Society, George D. Pratt.
The third was Mrs. Laura Gardin Fraser’s medal, for the Society, “The Hunter and His Dog” and the fourth, the inspiration of the reverse of Lee Lawrie’s medal for the Society, “That Shall He Also Reap” which to my mind is the finest example of medallic art design I know of.
I sought for a simple, direct, subject matter which would not be too involved for feasible expression on a medal. I sought a design which required but a single feature to put over the idea and a subject matter with wide, fresh interest appeal. Realizing that Mrs. Fraser had covered the hunting aspect, and no one had done the fishing, it came over me all at once that the trout fishing medal would be it.
Protagonists of the dry fly and wet fly will still be giving one another an argument on the day of judgment. To be perfectly unbiased, this medal caters to both.
The “Dry Fly” is the symbol of symbols of trout fishing. It is more symbolic even than a realistic “portrait” of the trout itself. The “Parmachini Belle” was used for the reverse, and it satisfied my desire for a single-unit design with a large, restful area of background.
The obverse carries the brown trout, seen from the fisherman’s point of view on the bank as he rises to the strike at a wet fly which is shown leaving its small “V” wake as it is drawn upstream. The brown trout is used since it is the most universally known member of the family. The story speaks for itself.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
GIFFORD MacGREGOR PROCTOR: Sculptor. Born in New York City, February 5, 1912. Son A. Phimister Proctor and Margaret D. (Gerow). Studied with his father, in Rome and Belgium, took B.F.A. degree at Yale School of Fine Arts.
Awarded Prix de Rome Fellowship of the American Academy in Rome. Artist in residence, Beloit college, Beloit, Wisconsin.
Other Medals: Boone and Crockett Club Big Game competition medal. The Wild Life Society Leopold Memorial Medal. Society of American Foresters Gifford Pinchot Award. Campfire Club of America A. P. Proctor Memorial Medal. Several portrait medallions. Sagamore Hill Award, Boone and Crockett Club. In addition to various garden pieces, architectural designs, portraits, smaller commissions, Statuary Hall, National Capital Building, Washington, D. C. Portrait statues of Dr. John McLoughlin and Reverend Jason Lee representing the State of Oregon in Statuary Hall.
First Special Service Force Monument, Helena, Montana. Portrait Hon. Leslie M. Scott, Sovereign Grand Inspector General Scottish Rite in Oregon.
Port Authority Building, New Orleans. Four monumental eagles in granite. Two twelve foot eagles in Federal Building, N. Y. World’s Fair. Twenty-four portraits New York State Hall of Fame, New York World’s Fair.