2017, 2018 J. Sanford Saltus Award for outstanding achievement in medal art to be presented in Ottawa

The American Numismatic Society (ANS) board of trustees recently announced the recipients of the 2017 and 2018 J. Sanford Saltus Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Art of the Medal, which will be presented in Ottawa later this month.

For nearly a century, the ANS’ Saltus Award has been one of the most prestigious and desired awards given to medallic artists and sculptors. After due consideration given to dozens of candidates, the Saltus Award committee – chaired by Donald Scarinci – selected Bogomil Nikolov, of Bulgaria, to receive the 2017 Saltus Award, and Geer Steyn, of the Netherlands, to receive the 2018 award.

Having first studied applied arts at the Stroganov Higher Applied Art Institute (Moscow) and then mural painting at the National Academy of Arts (Sofia), Nikolov began to turn his attention to medallic art. Since the 1970s, he has exhibited his work internationally receiving notable accolades. In 1996, he began teaching at his alma mater in Sofia before rising to full professor in 2002. As head of the medallic sculpture studio at the National Academy of Art, he has had tremendous influence on the current course of medallic art in Bulgaria supervising scores of students and exhibitions of their work.

Steyn’s studies in sculpture began at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam, where he initially followed the Academy’s traditional emphasis in figurative work. Thereafter he studied with Fritz Wotruba, a preeminent Austrian abstract sculptor that greatly influenced Steyn’s subsequent work. Besides his work in medallic art, Steyn is widely known and praised for his large scale sculptures in stone that have been featured in exhibits alongside his medals.


The award medals will be presented to the artists by Scarinci at the upcoming XXXV Congress, which will be hosted at Ottawa, Ont.’s Canadian Museum of Nature by the International Art Medal Federation on May 29-June 2.

The 2018 XXXV presentation of this biennial conference and exhibition—held in Canada for the first time— is taking place during the 100th anniversary of the enactment of the Canadian statute, An Act to confer the Electoral Franchise upon Women. To mark this anniversary, the 2018 medal exhibition is celebrating “Women and Women in the Natural Sciences.” This exhibit of more than 700 pieces of medallic art by sculptors from its 40 member countries, expressly created to promote this anniversary, will be showcased in the very building where the statute was passed.

For more information on the award ceremony and reception, contact Emma Pratte at 212-571-4470 (extension 117) or membership@numismatics.org.

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