Bronze art medal titled 'French Horn' from the Music series by Melbourne sculptor Michael Meszaros, 1971. 'French Horn' is one of a series of six medals depicting orchestral instruments, five of which are in the Museum's collection. In this medal the artist has focussed on the distinctive feature of the french horn, which is played by the musician inserting his hand into the bell of the instrument. The curves that define the horn's bell suggest a series of circles, a reminder both of the coiled body of the instrument and the shape of the medal itself.

Physical Description

Bronze medal with design on obverse only. A close-up of the bell of a horn with a hand in a sleeve reaching inside.

Obverse Description

A close-up of the bell of a horn with a hand in a sleeve reaching inside. Around, MICHAEL MESZAROS 1971 [incised family symbol - abstracted unicorn bull looking backwards over its shoulder]

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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