Donna Weaver is a retired sculptor/engraver for the United States Mint, where she worked on many significant projects in circulating and commemorative coinage and Congressional gold medals. She now employs those skills creating miniature wax portraits like those executed in bas-relief from the mid-18th Century until the popularization of photography in the 1840s.
Weaver re-creates the look, color, and scale of earlier wax portraits. Before starting a portrait, she researches artwork of the time for paintings, drawings, and sculpture of the person to be portrayed. She then mounts the finished portrait on reverse-painted glass and frames it.
Adhering to the high sculptural standards of portraiture in the 18th and early 19th Centuries, Weaver divides her time between sculpting wax portraits of historical figures in the studio of her Madison, Indiana, home and participating in living history events and indoor shows. She accepts assignments to re-create two-dimensional artworks from the early 19th Century.
Weaver is also part of the U.S. Mintís Artistic Infusion Program and designs for specific coinage programs.
Artists appearing in the 20201 Directory of Traditional American Crafts have been selected, and the best of their handiwork has been photographed at Cedar Grove, an 18th Century house museum operated by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Look for the Directory in our August 2021 issue.
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