ALONZO EARL FORINGER (1878-1948) Biography

2 Designs for Bank Notes for La Banque de France (USA, 1916)

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Oil on canvas
one signed, inscribed, N.Y.USA, one dated 1916


91.50cm high
147.40cm wide
(36.02 inches high)
(58.03 inches wide)
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The American Bank Note Company

Description / Expertise

Alonzo Earl Foringer was born in Kaylor, Pennsylvania on the 1st February 1878. After studying under Horatio S. Stevenson in Pittsburgh and Henry Siddons Mowbray and Edwin Howland Blashfield ('The Dean of American Mural Painters'), both in New York, A. E. Foringer moved to Saddle River, New Jersey. In addition to designing and painting many famous murals throughout the United States he was sought after as a bank note designer for American, Canadian and European banks. He designed the famous 1st World War poster The Greatest Mother in the World. His illustrations were often seen in Scribner's and other magazines.

The American Bank Note Company became the dominant security printer in the United States from 1858; the result of a merger of seven of the leading bank note designers and manufacturers of the time. As the leader of the industry, it designed and produced a wide variety of printed material for the industry intentionally, ranging from stocks and bonds, cheques and other fiscal documents to banknotes for institutions and governments of the world.

A distinctive characteristic of bank notes designed by the American Bank Note Company is one of the repetitive usages of similar vignettes for different banks, and even from different countries. Themes widely employed by them consisted of allegorical figures representing victory, peace, commerce, justice, agriculture, manufacturing or transportation. These two examples are very rare. The paintings relate closely to the 100 French Franc bank notes of 1917.