Bronze art medal titled 'Eclipse I' by Melbourne sculptor Michael Meszaros, 1981. This is an astronomical eclipse viewed from outer space, and is intended to be a generic eclipse of heavenly bodies rather than a specific lunar eclipse. An eclipse occurs when three celestial objects become aligned, and in this medal we can see two of them: the object casting a shadow across the surface of the second object, and the burnished edge of that object which is reflecting back the light of the unseen third celestial body.

Physical Description

Bronze medal inscribed with a series of crescents in different textures. The arc on the far right is burnished to reflect the light.

Obverse Description

The moon passing across the face of the sun. Two crescents on the right side.

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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