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German artist receives ANS medallic art award

Anna Franziska Schwarzbach is the 2020 J. Sanford Saltus Award recipient for her work in cast iron sculptures.

All images courtesy of American Numismatic Society.

The American Numismatic Society presented the 2020 J. Sanford Saltus Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Art of the Medal to Anna Franziska Schwarzbach.

The award was presented in a ceremony available online in English and German on Dec. 3.

Schwarzbach was born in Saxnia, Germany, into an artist’s household. Her father, Hans Brockhage, was a well-known sculptor in East Germany. Schwarzbach studied architecture and later art. She began work in the 1970s as a sculptor and medalist in Berlin. Since 1990, her sculptures have been displayed in many public places.

According to the ANS, her significant oeuvre as a medallist delves deeply into German history, but her main focus is on portraiture, especially subjects often ignored in official medallic art. Her preferred medium is cast iron, which has been used since the 19th century as an artistic medium in Germany, prompted by Karl Friedrich Schinkel.

The program scheduled presentations by Dr. Ute Wartenberg, ANS president and member of the Saltus Award committee; Professor Dr. Bernhard Weisser, Coin Cabinet, Berlin, a member of the Saltus Award Advisory Committee; and Thomas Bauer-Friedrich, director of the Kunstmuseum Moritzburg Halle (Saale) where a large solo exhibition of Anna Franziska Schwarzbach’s oeuvre will be shown in 2021. A short film about the artist, which was commissioned for the ceremony, was also shown.

Most recent winners of the J. Sanford Saltus Award include Japanese artist Mashiko (2019) and Dutch artist Geer Steyn (2018). Schwarzbach is the 59th recipient of the award.

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