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Henry Moore Institute

David Smith: Medals for Dishonor 1937-1940

David Smith: Medals for Dishonor 1937-1940

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The seventeen bronze reliefs that make up David Smith's Medals for Dishonour are the direct result of the artist's first-hand experience of travelling in Europe between Autumn 1935 and Summer 1936. The mid-Thirties was a critical moment in modern European history, and Smith found some aspects of it singularly sinister and dishonest. The Medals series were made as a dramatic anti-war statement, and were first shown in New York in 1940.

This catalogue was produced to accompany the exhibition David Smith: Medals for Dishonour 1937-1940, which marked the first occasion that the complete set of Medals has been seen in public since the 1940s. It includes Smith's original statements from the 1940 catalogue, along with two short essays by William Blake and Christina Stead which appeared in the same publication.

Dr Terry Friedman (Principal Keeper, Leeds City Art gallery and The Henry Moore Centre for the Study of Sculpture)

David Smith and the Medals for Dishonour
Jeremy Lawson

Sculpture drawing Statements
David Smith

The Fifteen Medallions of David Smith
William Blake

Medals for Dishonour
Christina Stead

Chronology of a Low Dishonest Decade
Terry Friedman

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