Andor Meszaros ( Mészáros)
|Last name||Meszaros ( Mészáros)|
|Country of Origin||Hungary|
|Date of Birth||1 Sept. 1900|
|Year of Arrival in Australia||1939|
|Submitted by||Attila Urmenyhazi|
Andor was unusually versatile in the range of his sculptural modes, he could be categorized as dramatic narrative artist adopting preferred timeless theme subjects: the story of Jesus, maternal love, man’s need to adapt in a hostile world, endurance in adversity, etc. which were expressed with a sturdy masculinity in stylized, figurative forms. When not engaged in sculpture commission work, Andor designed medals and medallions producing over a thousand in his lifetime, countless of them were stunning winning entries.
He made medals for the Victorian Artists Society (1947) and the commemorative medal for the Melbourne Olympic Games (1956) which was a turning point in his career.
In 1960, Andor won the Ballarat City Prize with his statue of a Shakespearean public performer. The 1951 Centenary of Victorian Government medal was his work. When Australia converted to the decimal system in 1966, his entry for the new decimal coinage set for Australia narrowly missed official selection which was awarded to Stuart Devlin who paid high tribute to Andor’s creativity and skill in the field. The Vietnam War medal was Andor’s creation (1968) and so was the commemorative medal marking the bicentenary of Captain James Cook’s landing at Botany Bay, a commission by the National Trust of Australia. The Perth Mint released mainly for collectors, numismatists and investors, his countless commemorative medallions struck in fine silver.
In 1951 Andor received “the highest award” at the International Medallion Exhibition, Madrid; in 1964 he won the International Medallion Competition, Arezzo, Italy. Mészáros was a member of the International Federation of Medallists, the Amici Della Medaglia Society, Italy, the Victorian Sculptors’ Society (president 1954-55, 1962-63) and the founder of Association of Sculptors of Victoria (president 1968). From 1970 he worked with his Australian born (1945) younger son Michael in his Kew studio. Michael continues with the Meszaros family fame as a nationally renowned sculptor in his own right, whereas Daniel his elder brother is also an architect but devoted to architecture in his own firm. Andor’s granddaughter Anna too is in sculpting, giving continuity to a family tradition of four generations.
Urbane Andor Meszaros was a sensitive artist with a sharp eye for composition and detail, believing that the medallion is a personal ownership miniature sculpture comparable in size to what sonnet is to poetry. He proudly remained true to his heritage throughout life seasoning it with Hungarian literature, folk music and cuisine. In 1972, at the eve of a planned visit to his homeland, the creative, versatile and fine artist passed away in Melbourne.
Research: Attila Urmenyhazi