Marsh Award for the Encouragement of Medallic Art

This Award, run in partnership with the British Art Medal Society (BAMS), recognises an individual or organisation that has made a significant contribution to the understanding, appreciation and encouragement of the art of the medal.

Nominees will be either living individuals or organisations. They may be involved in the promotion of the medal as artists, scholars, collectors, dealers, sponsors, teachers, or in some other capacity. Organisations may be public or private and will have demonstrated a longstanding commitment to fostering the medal.

All nominations are judged by the BAMS council.

Danuta Solowiej 2023

Danuta, based in South London, is one of Britain’s most accomplished medallists. She trained in Poland and joined BAMS shortly after arriving in Britain, attending her first BAMS conference in 1988. She has served twice on BAMS Council and held the role of BAMS secretary during both of these times.  

In the early years of the Student Medal Project, she gave talks to some of the colleges to engage students in what, to many, is a new art form and is always on hand for practical advice. For a number of years she taught at the Royal College of Art and was one of the organisers of their medal project. She has been commissioned to make three medals for BAMS, in 1990, 1993 and 2019, all of which have been very successful, and she also won the competition to make the first BAMS President’s Medal, the society’s highest award. She has led BAMS conference workshops in West Dean and Rochester, which focus on an aspect of medal-making and offer a shared experience for artists and beginners alike. In the very early years of BAMS she and her husband gave a demonstration of bronze casting in sand at their Kings Cross studio.   

This year, Danuta took her suitcase full of medals and gave a crash course on casting bronze medals at Goldsmiths’ College as part of the teaching element of the BAMS Student Medal Project. She has been a regular participant in the biennial congress exhibitions held by the International Art Medal Federation (FIDEM) and for a time acted as Britain’s vice-delegate to FIDEM, helping to submit medals from British artists so that their work could be shown on an international stage. She has contributed several articles to The Medal journal and has been the subject of others. Over the years Danuta has successfully mentored three of the BAMS New Medallists, thereby sharing skills from one generation of medal-makers to the next. 

Previous Winners

Roddy Mathieson

Roddy graduated in sculpture from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee in 1997. Soon after, he established ‘The Mobile Foundry’, undertaking public art projects, commissions, exhibitions and workshops.   

Roddy now works at Duncan of Jordanstone where he has set up a foundry facility for the College of Art and Design, known as DJCAD Foundry. This foundry supports students from across the art college in a variety of metal-casting projects but particularly with medals. In this role he has cast the college’s BAMS Student Medal Project entries over the past decade. He has actively encouraged young medal makers such as Ulrika Kjeldsen, a well-known sculptor, medal maker and scenic artist who works at the British Museum.  

Using his mobile foundry, Roddy has delivered foundry workshops around the country, bringing the art of bronze casting to wider audiences.  He is a source of inspiration to students and can always be called upon for advice by tutors. 

Dauvit Alexander

Dauvit Alexander took up his teaching post at Birmingham School of Jewellery in 2015, and immediately set about organising a medal symposium as an introduction to medals and to the BAMS Student Medal Project at the School. He gave of his own time to set up a Tuesday evening ‘medal club’ to get the students thinking further about medals and turning their ideas to reality. The resulting submissions were very impressive. 

Dauvit had come into this role from Glasgow Kelvin, where he also taught medal-making, as well as jewellery making. Under his guidance, students at this college also entered impressive medals to the student medal competition.   

In 2017, Dauvit organised another medal symposium in Birmingham with an excellent exhibition of student medals.  Birmingham hosted the Student Medal Project prize-giving ceremony that year to coincide with the exhibition of the works. The Birmingham students were able to mix socially with some of the UK’s leading medal-makers.  

Dauvit continues his enthusiastic relationship with BAMS, recently entering several designs for a competition to design a new BAMS President’s Medal. His love of the art form and for teaching others about it continues to go from strength to strength. 


Lisa McGovern

Lisa McGovern is Curriculum Head of Craft and Design at City of Glasgow College, and very actively engaged with promoting medallic art. Lisa teaches students who are involved with different aspects of making, such as sculpture and jewellery.

Over the past five years or so she has been very involved in the BAMS Student Medal Project, using it as part of the teaching curriculum at Glasgow College – which means that the whole year group participate.

In 2019, she set the theme of ‘plastic in the environment’ for her students, and the resulting medals were all very imaginative about the damage caused by the use of plastic, and one of those medals was a prize-winner.

Lisa organised and ran a medal symposium in the spring of 2019 which brought in students and others from outside the college, with speakers such as Kate Ive (artist and medal-maker); Mark Jones (medal expert and former director of the V&A); Roddy Mathieson (tutor and caster); Ulrika Kjeldsen (artist and medal-maker) and Marcy Leavitt Bourne (Director of the BAMS Student Medal Project).

Lisa has also recently become involved with the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow on a medal-making project to encourage the art form.

Giles Last

Giles was appointed Head of Jewellery at Central Saint Martins in 2018. He made the Student Medal Project part of the Jewellery Department curriculum around 2005, and – with a few years off – has supported it ever since. Giles re-shaped the SMP format for CSM.  From the very start, his methods of teaching gave the students a very interesting framework within which to make medals, often relating the work to film, narrative or other external stimuli. The results have been consistently excellent, with many of his students winning prizes, and at least one becoming a BAMS medal.

He has brought in leading artists such as Jane McAdam Freud to assist with teaching. Giles has always stressed the importance of understanding medals as a medium, and has taught his students how they may use it to express themselves in work that is unrelated to the body (as jewellery is) giving them greater freedom to express themselves. Giles always stresses the importance of workmanship and finishing. He continues to be a very active force in encouraging medal-making and continues to actively support the Student Medal Project and associated exhibitions.

Lucy Willow

Lucy is the Lead Teacher in the Department of Sculpture at Falmouth University’s School of Art, working with students to produce medals for the past six years. She first became involved with BAMS as a student when she took part in the Student Medal Project in 2001 and her medal, Dreams of a Dying Moth, was produced by BAMS in 2002.

Lucy’s enthusiasm and dedication to the art of the medal has strengthened her Department’s participation and the results have been positive, with prize winners among her students almost every year, several of whom have become New Medallists.

Lucy’s passion for medals is clear to see and is passed on to her students. She makes the Medal Project central to the core curriculum in the Department and one of her students is making medals his final degree project. Along with the Head of Technical Services, Lucy plans to take medal making across the different courses in the Department, in order to make it more accessible as an option for students and keep the foundry flourishing.

Kate Harrison

During her time as Head of Jewellery at Loughborough School of Art and Design she involved her students in the RBS medal project.  When BAMS started its own project Kate was very keen that her students participate, and they did very well while she was in charge and, in fact, have continued to produce strong medals (some winners, and at least one a BAMS medal).  But Kate always did more.  In 1998 she organised a one-day symposium specifically on the medal, inviting colleges, speakers and makers to come to Loughborough and discuss medal making.  A small brochure was produced.  She organised the BAMS Conference in Loughborough and the exhibition.  Kate also helped with applications to the RA in the early years.  She did a thorough job of indexing The Medal journal, which was much needed and appreciated; and she was on the Council for some years.  One further thing: Kate contributed to bringing about the reinstatement of the medal as a category in the Goldsmiths’ Company craft competition, a very useful and important public arena for medals.  Of course, as well, Kate makes very beautiful medals, including one for BAMS.  She is someone to go to if a comment is needed for publication, or for advice.

David Reid

David is an artist, founder and educator who has supported the British Art Medal Society for a number of years. He pioneered small-scale bronze casting and has run a number of bronze-casting courses which have given artists around the world enough knowledge and experience to set up their own home foundries.

In 1984, David set up the Red Bronze Studio and he also had some input into the setting up of the Bronze Age Foundry in London in 1989, which has gone on to become one of the leading art foundries in Britain and provides expert services to artists wishing to cast their original sculptures in bronze and aluminium. He also ran the foundry at the Central Saint Martin’s School of Art, a world leading centre for art and design and part of the University of the Arts London.

David’s longstanding commitment to art medals, the innovations he has made in bronze casting and his generous support to the British Art Medal Society has meant that it can fulfil its objectives of developing and supporting the art of the medal in the United Kingdom and the rest of the world.

Arnold Nieuwendam

Arnold is a Dutch painter who has been a regular attender at BAMS Conferences for many years and his photographic records of the conferences have frequently been used in The Medal.  Over the last 20 years, he has published hundreds of articles on medals, a number of which have been used in BAMS publications. His publications are mainly based on contemporary medals and medal-events in Dutch and Belgian numismatic and medallic periodicals.

Arnold also runs a medal website on a voluntary basis. His contributions are impressive as he receives no payment for any of his articles or his website work. He is an archetypal “unsung hero” who has done so much to promote the art of medals.

Andrew Griffiths

Andrew is Head of Sculpture at Carmarthen School of Art, which has been involved in the BAMS Student Medal Project since 1999, which promotes the art of making medals throughout art colleges in the United Kingdom. He has shown immense support to the students who wish to learn more about casting, running workshops, casting medals on the beach and leading in workshops on iron casting.

Andrew studied at the Central School of Art, London. After graduating he worked for seven years at the A&A Sculpture Casting Foundry, London, before moving to South Wales and becoming a lecturer. Andrew’s long-standing commitment and enthusiasm for art medals, his work to engage young people in the medallic arts and his generous support to BAMS is extraordinary.

Howard and Frances Simmons

Howard and Frances Simmons set up Simmons Gallery in 1982 to provide a general service to collectors of coins. They buy and sell coins from around the world and have specialist knowledge of this field in South East Asia, China, Japan, the Indian sub-continent and Latin America.

Howard and Frances have shown a great passion for what they do throughout their 30 year career. Howard has been collecting coins since he was a toddler, and could be found rummaging for coins in antique shops throughout his teenage and student years. When he and Frances were married, this interest only strengthened. They both continue to be inspired by numismatics, and shows great dedication to their work in this field.

Professor Bogomil Nikolov

Professor Bogomil Nikolov is a Bulgarian artist who was for many years a lone voice promoting medallic art in his country. A professor at the National Academy of Arts in Sofia, he has introduced generations of students to medallic art. Unflaggingly energetic, he organises several national and international medallic workshops every year.

Thomas Fattorini Ltd

Thomas Fattorini Ltd have a longstanding record as a manufacturer of high-quality medals and have been unflagging in their encouragement of medallic art over many years. The company have also been extremely generous in their support of the British Art Medal Society, helping the organisation to fulfil their objectives of developing and supporting the art of the medal in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.