The Art of Devastation is a project of the American Numismatic Society. It is directed by Dr. Peter van Alfen, with assistance from Sylvia Karges. The web database, based on the Numishare platform, has been developed by Ethan Gruber.
Each distinctive obverse type or design is given a unique catalogue number, which has three components. For example, in the catalogue number AoD 7513.7155.156, the first number refers to the nation of issue (7513 = German Empire); the second to the artist who created the work (7155 = Karl Goetz); and the third number to the individual works of that artist within the catalogue. Where an existing, comprehensive catalogue of the artist’s work exists, the work number here replicates that of the previous catalogue. So, in this case, the number “156” corresponds to the catalogue number for that type in Gunter W. Kienast’s (1967) catalogue raisonné of Karl Goetz’s work. Variations in size, metals, and reverse types are noted by letters of the alphabet following the catalogue number, for example, 7513.7155.156.a. Medals that belong to a series, here defined as medals issued as parts of a set, are noted in the catalogue by an additional number. For example, in the catalogue number AoD 257.1.42116.2, the “1” inserted between the nation code 257 (= Kingdom of Belgium) and the artist code 42116 (= Josue Dupon) corresponds to the Belgian series Les amis de la médaille d’art.
On each page for the individual medal type an example, or examples, are illustrated, which are derived from public and private collections, as well as from publications, including auction records. In the case of public collections, such as the American Numismatic Society’s collection, links are provided to take users to the collection’s own online database where this is possible. Multiple examples of types are illustrated where possible in order to give users a sense of variations in production details, such as patination.