Bronze art medal titled 'Nativity' by Melbourne sculptor Michael Meszaros, 1970. Baby Jesus is central in the manger, surrounded by farm animals and 5 figures. One is kneeling in prayer while two others are talking and gesturing. Mary is absorbed in the baby, while Joseph is looking to Heaven, asking for reassurance.

Physical Description

Bronze medal with aerial view of Christmas nativity scene, showing people and animals arranged in a circle around the manger.

Obverse Description

Nativity scene. Overhead view of baby in cradle (or manger) in centre . Around, 5 people, one of whom is kneeling, and one is looking up. Three farm animals are also around the cradle. Around, MICHAEL 1970 MESZAROS.

Reverse Description



This is one of 44 art medals in the Museum's collection by Michael Meszaros, dated from 1960 through to 1987, which chart the evolution of a new phase of the medal tradition in Australia. While Australian medals have previously largely been commissioned works associated with official commemorations or major awards, these are personal artworks. In addition to their aesthetic value, they document nearly two decades of Australian life from a personal and popular point of view, drawing on cultural trends, sporting and leisure, and emerging issues such as environmentalism. This is a modern development in Australia, but it harks back to the European tradition, developed in the Renaissance, of medals as artistic works.

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.

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