Wednesday, September 28, 2005

State Quarters

kansas state quarter
I hadn't seen any new state quarters in quite a while. Then just yesterday, I got a couple of Kansas state quarters in change. And I was quite impressed with them. I like the buffalo. The sunflowers are a nice touch. Overall the quarter is well designed, attractive, it hangs together, it's not too cluttered.

And for a state quarter, that's saying a lot. Sorry to say. In my judgment, most of the state quarters have been fairly disastrous. Most of them look as though they were designed by a committee. A timid, clueless, interest-group-riven committee. A committee with the soul of... a committee; which is to say, no soul at all.

You know what I mean. Usually a state quarter is cluttered with three, four, five unrelated symbols, genuinely or purportedly associated with the state. Often unfurled against the background of an outline map of the state. As if the chief aim of the design was to touch all bases, mollify all factions, and give offense to no one.

Every once in a while, a state quarter with a decent design does manage to slip through the process nonetheless. Like this Kansas state quarter. And there are a few other decent state quarters, too— most of them for some reason from New England. My favorite so far is the Maine state quarter:

maine state quarter
I see somehow this year I've missed the California and Oregon quarters altogether. Oh well. I guess I've yet to recover from my home state of Wisconsin issuing an utterly forgettable state quarter last year, passing by a truly stunning runner-up which would have featured a fur trapper, an Indian, and a canoe. Actually in this case the committee had the smarts to recommend the "trapper, Indian, canoe" design, but the Governor made the final choice based on an Internet poll!!! (Full story here.)

wisconsin runner up
Above: The Wisconsin state quarter that wasn't



Blogger jlbussey said...

I haven't seen (ain't seen?) California's, but Oregon's is a Crater Lake design. Very nice.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005 7:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm a 10 year old girl who collects state quarters, and i only have 16 to go! oregon has cratyer lake,and some fir trees in the foreground.california has jhon muir, an eagle and El Capitan(in yosemite)! the cal. one is very "cluttered".

Sunday, June 11, 2006 10:48:00 PM  

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