U.S. Mint Unveils 2022 American Women Quarters Program Designs

Back in July, we relayed information to you given by the United States Mint unveiling the first three women to be honored in the American Women Quarters Program to begin at the beginning of 2022. As of early October, they have now revealed not just the other two women to be honored, but all five designs to be featured.

Beginning its four-year run next year, the Mint will issue five quarters a year through 2025 honoring extraordinary women with ethnically, racially, and geographically diverse backgrounds whose accomplishments span a wide range of fields including suffrage, science, humanities, government, civil rights, space, the arts, and more. Those women to be honored on next year’s designs include Maya Angelou, Dr. Sally Ride, Wilma Mankiller, Nina Otero-Warren, and Anna May Wong.

Maya Angelou

Known as a writer, performer, and social activist, Maya Angelou is featured on the reverse with her arms uplifted. A bird is in flight behind her with a rising sun above, symbolizing her poetry and the inspiration for how she lived. “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “MAYA ANGELOU,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” and “QUARTER DOLLAR” can be seen inscribed around the design done by Emily Damstra, a member of the Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program, or AIP. Medallic Artist Craig A. Campbell sculpted the reverse.

Dr. Sally Ride

Designed by AIP designer Elana Hagler, the reverse features Dr. Sally Ride next to a window aboard the space shuttle. A physicist, astronaut, educator, and the first American woman to soar into space, the entire design is inspired by a quote of hers: “But when I wasn’t working, I was usually at a window looking down at Earth.” “E PLURIBUS UNUM” is intentionally inscribed over Earth in the background and next to America. This was to indicate that of all the women in the United States, Dr. Ride was the first into space. “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “QUARTER DOLLAR,” and “DR. SALLY RIDE” are also seen inscribed on the reverse that was sculpted by Medallic Artist Phebe Hemphill.

Wilma Mankiller

The first woman elected principal chief of the Cherokee Nation and an activist for Native American and women’s rights, Wilma Mankiller is depicted on the reverse design with a gaze fixed upon the future. She is wrapped in a traditional shawl with a seven-pointed star of the Cherokee Nation to her left. “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” “QUARTER DOLLAR,” “WILMA MANKILLER,” “PRINCIPAL CHIEF,” and “CHEROKEE NATION” are inscribed throughout. It was designed by AIP Designer Ben Sowards and sculpted by Medallic Artist Phebe Hemphill.

Nina Otero-Warren

With three of New Mexico’s state flower, the Yucca flower, surrounding her, Nina Otero-Warren is featured on the reverse while honoring her leadership in New Mexico’s suffrage movement. She was also the first female superintendent of Santa Fe public schools. Designed by AIP Designer Chris Costello, the reverse also features the inscriptions “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “QUARTER DOLLAR,” E PLURIBUS UNUM,” “NINA OTERO-WARREN,” and “VOTO PARA LA MUJER” which is the Spanish counterpart for the suffragist slogan “Votes for Women.” Medallic Artist Craig A. Campbell sculpted the design.

Anna May Wong

Designed by AIP Designer Emily Damstra and sculpted by Medallic Artist John P. McGraw, the reverse design honoring Anna May Wong features a close up image of the first Chinese American film star in Hollywood. Her head is seen resting on her hand as bright lights of a marquee surround her. “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” “QUARTER DOLLAR,” and “ANNA MAY WONG” are also inscribed in the design honoring the lasting legacy Wong left for women in the industry.

The obverse of the entire American Women Quarters Program is designed by Gardin Fraser who is one of the most prolific female sculptors of the early twentieth century. It features the portrait of George Washington that was originally done as a candidate for the celebration of Washington’s 200th birthday.

Source: United States Mint