The American Numismatic Society is pleased to announce that Pawel Leski has been selected to receive the Society’s 2014 J. Sanford Saltus Award for distinguished achievement in the art of the medal. Established in 1913, the Saltus Award remains one of the most prestigious and coveted awards in the field of medallic art, presented to artists who have produced an exemplary and influential body of work. Limited initially to artists based in the United States, since 1985 the award has been open to international competition.
Born in 1954, Mr. Leski first studied architecture at Cracow Polytechnic, before leaving his native Poland for Vienna to learn the art of medal making. When he returned to Poland in 1976, he concentrated his efforts on sculpture under Prof. G. Zelmy at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. In the ensuing decades, Mr. Leski has produced a substantial body of work that includes scores of medals and plaques, along with sculpture. While much of his work borders on abstraction, the figure, both human and animal, nonetheless plays a key and evocative role, and Mr. Leski skillfully uses both the shape and the surface of the medal to help elicit a deep emotional response to the subject portrayed.
Over the years Mr. Leski has received numerous awards for his work. The Society’s Board of Trustees is delighted to add to the accolades by bestowing the 2014 Saltus Award on this deserving artist.
A reception and the Award ceremony will take place on February 20th, 2014, starting at 5:30pm at the Society’s headquarters, followed by a panel discussion. Panelists Mashiko Nakashima, Stephen K. Scher and Peter van Alfen will discuss the history of the Saltus Award, the development of medallic art, contemporary Polish medallic art and Pawel Leski’s place within in it. Examples of Mr. Leski’s medallic art will be on view.
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