Modern Medals bask in the glory of Olympic gold at Glasgow's Hunterian Museum

By Ben Miller | 08 August 2012
A photo of a male athlete in a white shirt holding a gold medal close to the camera
Matthew Pinsent takes a look at one of the medals which appeared at the Hunterian Museum before London 2012. The Glasgow venue's current show follows the history of the sculptures© LOCOG
Exhibition: Modern Medals, Hunterian Museum, Glasgow, until August 19 2012

When this exhibition began, the set of Olympic gold medals it accompanied, which were on temporary loan to the Hunterian for a dozen days in July, seemed precious.

A photo of a circular gold sporting medal with a string with the words London 2012 on it
Artist David Watkins designed the London 2012 medals. The circular form is a metaphor for the world, and the front always depicts the same imagery at the summer Games - the Greek Goddess of Sport, Nike, leaving the depiction of the Parthenon© LOCOG
A few weeks later, with those victory symbols gloriously less elusive to British athletes than everyone had expected, the ancient models they left behind stand as a showcase of miniature sculpture.

Versions in all shapes and sizes from across the world feature, cast in metal, bronze, copper or alloy.

Arranged geographically in a display dubbed a Paris Fashion Week for the medal world, they date as far back as the Renaissance and honour acts of bravery as well as sporting prowess.

Combining art and sporting excellence, the Hunterian – where 70,000 coins, medals and tokens make up one of the world’s finest numismatic collections - is the perfect arena for it.

  • Open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm (11am-4pm Sunday). Admission free.

More pictures from the Olympic medals loan:

A photo of a male and female athlete in suits holding a box with three medals inside it
Double Olympic Gold medal winner Dame Kelly Holmes and Seb Coe revealed the London 2012 Olympic Medals at celebrations held in Trafalgar Square a year before the 2012 Games© LOCOG
A photo of men in suits looking at a display case of medals while a curator talks about them
Designer Lin Cheung introduces the medals for the Paralympic Games to Jeremy Hunt© David Poultney, LOCOG
A photo of a woman holding up a gold medal as a man in a suit takes a closer look at it
Cheung is a practising Jewellery artist and senior lecturer in Jewellery Design at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, London© LOCOG
A photo of a man in a suit holding up a circular gold medal with a purple string on it
Watkins was on hand to present his medal design at the launch© LOCOG
A photo of four circular medals of various sizes in gold, silver and bronze on purple strings
The Paralympic Games will begin on August 29 2012© LOCOG
More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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