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St Andrews shows its mettle

Finest art medals

Finest art medals heading to Fife

An event celebrating the UK’s finest medal artwork is returning to Scotland for the first time in 15 years.
Supported by the VisitScotland Conference Bid Fund, the British Art Medal Society conference comes to St Andrews from 10-12 April, having previously been held in Glasgow in 2000 and Edinburgh in 1994.

Perthshire-based Malcolm Appleby, one of Scotland’s foremost medallists and engravers, will be among the speakers when around 50 delegates gather at the Museum of the University of St Andrews and Hotel du Vin for the conference. The event is expected to generate around £61,000 for the local economy.  

Laurie Rae, Senior Curator at the British Golf Museum in St Andrews, will give a presentation on the medal collections of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club.  

Although medals are now commonplace for the likes of football, athletics and rugby, among the earliest examples of medals given for sporting achievement are for the Silver Arrow archery competition at the University of St Andrews.  

Professor Ian Carradice, former Director of Museum Collections, will discuss the museum’s stunning collection of 70 Silver Archery medals, some of which date back to 1618.  

As part of the conference, delegates will also visit Duncan of Jordanstone College in Dundee to view an exhibition of medals made by art students from colleges around the UK, including Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.  

Philip Attwood, President of the British Art Medal Society, said: “The society was founded in 1982 to promote the art of the medal, and we always choose a venue rich with artistic and cultural significance for our annual conference.  

“For 2015 we felt it was high time we returned to Scotland, and with its ancient history and stunning location St Andrews seemed to us exactly the sort of place that our members would enjoy. We have a rich programme, which will only be enhanced by the conference taking place in such a beautiful location.”  

Kerry Watson, Associations Marketing Manager in VisitScotland’s Business Events team, said: “In 2016, we are celebrating the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design so it is very apt that the British Art Medal Society is returning to Scotland to whet our appetites with some stunning works of art. The VisitScotland Conference Bid Fund is open to business events throughout Scotland, not only in the cities, but in rural areas. It can be for conferences of 50 or 5,000 delegates, all of which play a vital role in boosting the visitor economy in Scotland.”  

Malcolm Appleby, whose commissions include a 200th commemoration of the Battle of Trafalgar in 2005 and a Scottish unicorn medal for the International Congress on Medallic Art in Glasgow in 2012, said: “I am looking forward to taking part in the British Art Medal Society Conference in St Andrews. These events help to ensure that both standards and awareness of art medals, which are miniature sculptures, remain high.”

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