The medal is a relatively inexpensive art form on a par with print-making.
One of our main activities as a society is to commission medals from artists, to be made available in editions to members of BAMS for purchase, and normally costing under £200. Each edition is illustrated in three issues of The Medal over an 18 month period, and is limited to one hundred medals.
The medals that we issue fall into broad categories: some of them are made by leading artists, for whom medal making is an occasional challenge; others are made by established specialists; and some are made by emerging artists and medallists who may have been involved in one of our student or graduate projects.
While some BAMS members set out to collect every medal that we issue, others restrict their purchasing to medals with specific subjects or imagery, such as portraits, mythology or depictions of nature. Similarly, some collectors might prefer to gather objects made by artists with differing levels of immersion in the medium.
Over the years, BAMS has issued work by artists such as Felicity Powell, Ron Dutton, Bernd Göbel and Linda Crook who have used medals significantly in their practice, and this group might form the basis of a collection. By way of contrast, a different group might comprise of works by leading artists who are only occasional makers of medals, such as Peter Randall-Page, Christopher Le Brun, Nigel Hall, Dhruva Mistry, Tom Phillips, Ian Hamilton-Finlay, and Lynn Chadwick. A third approach may be to collect works by artists before they become household names.