Gold prize medal awarded to the Education Department at the 1888 Centennial International Exhibition in Melbourne. The Education Department won a gold medal in four categories: for the organisation of state elementary education and school buildings, for apparatus and kindergarten appliances, for the kindergarten system and for pupils' work.

The Exhibition, celebrating a century of Australian settlement, surpassed even the grand scale of the1880 Melbourne International Exhibition. It attracted over two million people, but the Victorian government had to spend £250 000 on it, ten times the amount estimated. The exhibition had a distinctively imperial focus, and a greater emphasis on culture than in 1880, particularly on music and painting. A choir of 5000 sang music old and new, and 500,000 people attended symphony concerts. There were over 3000 paintings on display, including works by artists like JMW Turner and C Lutyens. The Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens was lit inside and out by electric lights, claimed to be the largest installation of arc lighting in the world.

Obverse Description

Crowned and veiled bust of Queen Victoria left; around, CENTENNIAL INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION MELBOURNE

Reverse Description

Within wreath the Southern Cross; above, ARTIBUS DIGNIS; below, HONOR INSIGNIS; below wreath, M DCCCLXXXVIII Tiny initials CV below ribbon on wreath

Edge Description


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