Information about Kurt Bodlak

Kurt Bodlak (10 April 1924 - 28 October 2017)

Kurt Bodlak was an Austrian engraver and medalist.

His father was a freelance engraver and introduced his son to the art of engraving at an early age. In 1938 he passed the entrance exam for the School of Arts and Crafts and received his diploma there in 1948. After completing his studies, he set up his own workshop for metal and small sculptures. In response to an advertisement, he applied to the Vienna Main Mint and was able to start working as an engraver there on 2 September 1957. At that time it was still customary at the main mint to hold design competitions for new coins, in which free artists could also participate in addition to the in-house designers. At the intervention of Edwin Grienauer, Kurt Bodlak was soon invited and won with his design for the 50 Schilling coin "Johann Strauss - Blue Danube Waltz". His 500 schilling coin “2000 years of the city of Bregenz” was voted “Coin of The Year” in the USA in 1985 as “Most Historically Significant Coin”.

On 1 July 1977, Kurt Bodlak took over the management of the engraver department and tool-making in the main mint. In 1982 he was appointed professor. In 1984 he retired as manager, but even after that he was often active as a designer for the mint.

Overall, he was involved in the design of 32 Austrian schilling coins until 2001. He designed i.a. the value side of the 20 shilling coins that has been in use since 1982, the coat of arms side of the 10 shilling coins in copper-nickel minted between 1974 and 2001 and a series of Austrian commemorative coins of 25, 50, 100 and 500 shillings. He also created a number of medals on various themes and occasions.

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