Prominent artist and sculptor/ engraver Jim Ferrell died peacefully in his sleep on May 27, 2020. Jim's artistic talent emerged early in life when he won the Hallmark Honors Prize while still a high school student in Clayton NJ. His outstanding athletic performances as both baseball pitcher and football quarterback for the NJ All State Teams won him a scholarship to Duke University which he turned down in favor of one to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts where he concentrated his studies in painting and print-making. During his time at the Academy he won the coveted Cresson European Traveling Scholarship and numerous other prizes. He also studied at the Barnes Foundation.
After graduating he became a designer/sculptor at the Franklin Mint where he created world currencies including the Balboa gold and platinum coins of Panama, the Philippines and Egypt in addition to countless medals, collectible coins and objects. Chief sculptor for the United States Mint was so impressed with his work that he asked Jim to join the Philadelphia Mint.
Jim was well known for his expertise in both design and sculpture and at the United States Mint he created more than 30 coins still in circulation in addition to special memorials and commemorative medals. He also created and sculpted the Congressional Gold Medals honoring Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Ruth and Billy Graham, Pope John Paul ll and Jesse Owens.
During his working career and long after his retirement, Jim continued to paint and exhibit in Philadelphia and Palm Beach. His works are also in many private collections.
In addition to his professional achievements, Jim was known for his wonderful sense of humor frequently evidenced in the brilliant cartoons he drew.
Jim is predeceased by his son Thomas Ferrell and survived by his daughter Janice Ferrell, his sister Jeanne Jablonski and his brother Jack Ferrell. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and colleagues.
A celebration of Jim's life will be held at a later date.
Published by The Philadelphia Inquirer on Jun. 5, 2020.