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Medal - 'Maternity', King George V Memorial Hospital for Mothers & Babies, Sydney, Australia, 1947 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 20764

Bronze medal commemorating the King George V Memorial Hospital in Sydney, New South Wales. Designed by Andor Meszaros and minted by Pinches, London.

In 1943 Hungarian immigrant artist Andor Meszaros was commissioned to produce a large-scale sculpture entitled 'Maternity' for Sydney's King George V Hospital. Meszaros described the statue as 'a forward-striding, fully developed female figure, holding proudly in one arm the only real creation, the child.' Andor's wife Elizabeth was the model for the statue, and it was the most successful of his public sculptures. He was commissioned by the hospital to reinterpret the statue for this medal; available in either bronze or silver, it was sold through the hospital, with room on the reverse for a child's name to be engraved.
A bronze medal (64 mm diameter) featuring a woman striding to right holding baby in right arm. On the reverse is a large tree curved around space where baby's details could be engraved, a small tree grows at the base.
Statement Of Significance:
For over half a century, sculptors Andor (1900-1973) and Michael (1945- ) Meszaros have created medals that reflect the high points of life in Australia. From major awards and portraits of eminent Australians to artwork celebrating popular culture and the natural world, these objects illuminate our culture and history. Grounded in a centuries-old European art tradition, the medals create connections across disciplines and link such diverse subjects as scientific advances, religious themes, sport, the performing arts and motherhood. Through their public and private commissions and their personal artworks, the Meszaros sculptors have defined the modern Australian medal.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 1976
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 64 mm (Diameter)

More information

Tagged with: healthcare medicine, hospitals, medals
Themes this item is part of: Andor Mészáros, Medal Artist (1900-1972), Medicine in Society Collection, Migration Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection, HRH King George V (1865-1936), Pinches Mint, Medal Makers, London, England, Numismatics & Philately Collection, Meszaros Medals Collection
On Display at: Melbourne Museum
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Commemorative
Tertiary Classification: medicine & health
Series: Australian Art Medals
DateEra: 1947 AD
Obverse Description: Woman striding to right holding baby in right arm; around, KING GEORGE V MEMORIAL HOSPITAL FOR MOTHERS AND BABIES, in field left, A. MESZAROS / 1947
Reverse Description: At right large tree curved around space where baby's details could be engraved, a small tree grows at the base.
Edge Description: Plain
Shape: Round
Material: Gilt Bronze
Issued By: King George V Memorial Hospital for Mothers and Babies, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1947
Mint: Pinches, London (Mint)
Artist: Andor Mészáros
Person Named: HM King George V
References: Car 1947/1
  1. [Catalogue] Sharples, John P. 1990. Medals as Art: Australia and the Meszaros Tradition.
  2. [Article] Jewell, Raymond T. 1986. Michael Meszaros: The Man and his Medals. Journal of the Numismatic Association of Australia. 2: 4-24.
  3. [Book], Mr Kelman Semmens, Andor Meszaros, The Hawthorn Press, Melbourne, 1972

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