On display

This item is on display at Melbourne Museum

Melbourne Museum

Master Plaque - Barbara Ramsden Award, Federation of Australian Writers, Australia, 1971 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 32584

Barbara Ramsden Award Master Plaque 1971 (AD), designed by Andor Mészáros.

Barbara Ramsden MBE (1903-1971) was a talented and formidable editor, and the backbone of Melbourne University Press for many years. As an editor she oversaw the publication of such important works as the early volumes of Manning Clark's A History of Australia and the Australian Dictionary of Biography. After her death in 1971, the Australian Federation of Writers started this award in her honour. Designed by noted medallist Andor Mészáros, it recognises excellence in writing and editing of an Australian book. The award ran from 1971 to 1992, then was revived in 2006. This is the master plaque, which remained with the Federation; a half-size copy was presented to each of the award winners.
A rectangular silver plated plaque mounted on a wooden base (240 * 300 mm) featuring at left a woman, sitting, telling a story to five children standing and kneeling before her; at right a person, sitting facing away, points to aboriginal cave art.
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:
Donation from Federation of Australian Writers (FAW), 1995
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 305 mm (Height), 240 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: writers authors, awards, publishing, medals
Themes this item is part of: Andor Mészáros, Medal Artist (1900-1972), Public Life & Institutions Collection, Migration Collection, Numismatics & Philately Collection, Meszaros Medals Collection
On Display at: Melbourne Museum
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Civil
Tertiary Classification: literature prizes
Series: Australian Prize Medals
DateEra: 1971 AD
Obverse Description: At left a woman, sitting, tells a story to five children standing and kneeling before her; at right a person, sitting facing away, points to aboriginal cave art; at top left, 'BARBARA RAMSDEN / AWARD F.A.W.'; at lower right, incuse, 'ANDOR MESZAROS 1971'.
Reverse Description: Wooden panel with four screws.
Shape: Rectangle
Material: Silver-plated
Issued By: Federation of Australian Writers (FAW), Australia
Artist: Andor Mészáros
Person Commemorated: Barbara Ramsden
  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.

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