Information about Andor Mészáros

Andor Mészáros (1 September 1900 - 1 May 1972)

Over more than 30 years, Andor Mészáros created hundreds of art medals that charted the course of Australian history and culture, from sport and war to the contributions of leading Australians to scientific, medical and artistic fields.

Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1900, Andor moved to Vienna in 1919 with his family, where he studied sculpture and modelling. Moving to Paris to study art, he met Picasso and was influenced by the works of contemporary artists including Matisse and Modigliani.

In 1967 the Australian Coin Review held a competition to design an unofficial Australian crown. Andor's design, which was based on his unsuccessful submission in the competition for the new Australian decimal currency, was the winner. It was subsequently issued and sold by the magazine, and the flying swan crown (or the Goose Dollar, as it was affectionately but incorrectly known) became a collector's piece.

Andor designed, built and furnished with his own designs a home and studio in the Melbourne suburb of Kew. His younger son Michael, born in 1945, continues the Mészáros tradition of sculpture and medal-making from the same studio. Andor died in 1972; his biographer observed that his works displayed the qualities of 'courage, dogged endurance in the face of adversity, grief, the strength and persistence of love, a delight in sexuality and a marvelling at the wonders of the natural world.'

Andor's work is held in public collections in Budapest, Stockholm, Baghdad and Breslau, as well as state art galleries in South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria.

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