The American Numismatic Society (ANS) is pleased to announce that Polish sculptor Hanna Antonina Jelonek is the recipient of the Society’s prestigious 2022 J. Sanford Saltus Award for Signal Achievement in the Art of the Medal.
A lifelong student of the arts, Jelonek studied at the Faculty of Painting, Graphics and Sculpture at the State High School of Fine Arts in Wrocław before completing her BA at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. She graduated with honors in 1981 with a specialty in medallic art under the supervision of Prof. Zofia Demkowska.
In 1985–86, she held a scholarship from the Italian Government to continue her studies at the School of Medallic Art in Rome (Scuola dell’Arte Della Medaglia presso la Zecca Romana), receiving the Commendation of the School Council.
Since 1990, she has held several positions at her alma mater, the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, in the Department of Sculpture, beginning as an assistant in the Studio of Medals and Small Sculpture Forms, run by Prof. Piotr Gawron. In 1998, she received her PhD in Fine Arts from the Academy, habilitated in 2005, and became a full professor in 2020. From 2012 to 2019, she served as Dean of the Faculty of Sculpture, and, since 2004, has been running the Medallic Art Workshop.
Aside from her academic and educational accomplishments, Jelonek is a prolific sculptor and medallic artist and has participated in many exhibitions and national and international competitions. Her works are in the collections of, among others, the Medal Art Museum in Wrocław, the Copper Museum in Legnica, the Asia and Pacific Museum in Warsaw, and the British Museum. Her awards include, among many others, the 2018 British Art Medal Society’s Struck Medal Award.
Saltus Committee chair Alan Stahl noted that the “Saltus Committee singled out Hanna Jelonek from of a strong field of contemporary medalists for her ability to explore such modern techniques in medallic art as the use of negative space and multiple materials while at the same time showing herself a master of the classic elements of psychological portraiture and the expert use of lettering to complement the sculptured images.”
An award ceremony is planned to take place at the ANS headquarters in New York City on Thursday, October 5, 2023. More information on the event will be provided closer to the date.
The award was created with a grant to the American Numismatic Society by J. Sanford Saltus in 1913 to recognize and encourage excellence in the art of the medal. The first Saltus Award was presented in 1919; the silver award medal was designed by the prominent German-born numismatic and architectural sculptor Adolph Alexander Weinman.
Jelonek joins the ranks of other significant artists who have been awarded the medal including, among dozens of others, James Earl Fraser (1919), Victor David Brenner (1922), Paul Manship (1925), Lee Lawrie (1937), Donald DeLue (1967), Kauko Räsänen (1986), João Duarte (2011), and two other Polish recipients, Ewa Olszewska-Borys (1993), and Pawel Leski (2014).
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The American Numismatic Society (ANS), organized in 1858 and incorporated in 1865 in New York State, operates as a research museum under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is recognized as a publicly supported organization under section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) as confirmed on November 1, 1970.