Introduction to the United States Delegation of FIDEM”
by Cory Gillilland
Current Vice President of FIDEM
USA FIDEM Delegate, 1987-2007
membership for the United States was spurred by a former
European couple. Lisa and Val Stefanelli, who since the
1950’s were enhancing and enlarging the numismatic
collection of the Smithsonian Institution, sought to make
the United States a member country. This happened in 1964
and Lisa became the first U.S. delegate that year. In 1951,
however, the Director of the U.S. Mint, Nellie Taylor Ross,
was part of an Honorary Committee at the Madrid Congress.
Further, some U. S. artists did exhibit at earlier Congresses.
1964, U.S. artists were asked before each Congress to send
their work for the FIDEM exposition to the Smithsonian where
Lisa would then have it sent on to the appropriate persons
responsible for organizing the FIDEM Congress. Often the
U.S. was under represented or not represented at all. Only
fourteen artists were listed in the Krakow catalog of 1975
and none were listed in the Helsinki catalog of 1973 or
the Budapest catalog of 1977. Artist participation often
highlighted only a few. It was during this era, however,
that the embryo was forming; American artists took a look
at the work of the European artists and saw a special creativity
and uniqueness. The artists from what was then called the
Eastern Block, though politically repressed, made amazing
statements through their sculpture.
one year after Val’s death, Lisa decided to step down
as delegate. John Cook, a University of Pennsylvania art
professor, and Dr. Alan Stahl, a curator at the American
Numismatic Society, paid a visit to Lisa’s office
and asked if she would recommend John for delegate and Alan
as the vice delegate. John served as the delegate for the
Florence Congress in 1983 and for the Stockholm Congress
then resigned and Alan took over as delegate in late 1986.
He managed the first American Congress at Colorado Springs
in 1987. Cory Gillilland was appointed vice delegate and
they served together for the Colorado Springs Congress in
1987, the Helsinki Congress in 1990, the London Congress
in l992, the Budapest Congress in 1994, the Neuchatel Congress
in l996, and The Hague Congress in 1998.
from the United States exhibiting at the FIDEM expositions
since 1987 have been selected through a competition or judging.
The number of medals to be selected has been determined
by an allotment given to FIDEM/USA by the executive committee
of the international FIDEM organization. The number varies
by country. Factors such as whether a country has sponsored
a FIDEM Congress come into play when allotments are made.
U.S. artists send their medals and competition fees to the
delegate who arranges for the judging to take place.
Alan left the American Numismatic Society, Cory became the
U.S. Delegate for the Weimar Congress of 2000. Jeanne Stevens-Sollman
and Mashiko were appointed co-vice delegates for the Paris
Congress in 2002 and continued in those positions for the
Seixal Congress of 2004 and the second Colorado Springs
Congress of 2007. At the Colorado Springs Congress, Cory
was elected vice president of the international FIDEM organization.
Mashiko became the U.S. Delegate with Jeanne continuing
as the Vice-Delegate.