One of the highest honours in the world of medal art has been awarded to an acclaimed Wolverhampton artist.
Ron Dutton, former head of sculpture at Wolverhampton School of Art, now the University of Wolverhampton’s School of Art & Design, has been given the prestigious Grand Prix of the Federation Internationale de la Medaille d’Art.
Ron, who is the president of the Friends of Wolverhampton Arts and Heritage, was presented with the award at The British Museum, in London, by Philip Atwood, keeper of coins and medals.
Over the years Ron has seen his medals presented to the Queen, won the competition for the Royal Mint 1998 Rugby World Cup £2 coin and was commissioned by the BBC to create The Archers’ 50th anniversary coin. He also produced the commemorative medal for Wolverhampton's 1,000th birthday celebrations in 1985.
The 80-year-old artist from Wolverhampton was most recently commissioned to create a medal, which was presented to best-selling author Millie Marota, whose Animal Kingdom - A Colouring Book Adventure - topped Amazon's best sellers list.
Ron moved to Wolverhampton in 1964 to teach art and ten years later, inspired by a collection of Tsuba Japanese sword mountings held at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, he embarked on creating beautiful medal art.
He said: “This award is a huge honour for me, I was gobsmacked when the International Art Medal Federation told me I was going to receive it.
“It was a collection of Japanese sword mountings I saw more than 40 years ago that inspired me to concentrate on medal art and I am still creating medals today from my studio at home.”
Ron and Sir Mark Jones, former director of the V&A Museum, established the British Art Medal Association in 1982.
Over the years Ron has seen his work exhibited at many art galleries, including Wolverhampton, which is hosting his latest show in May next year.
City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor John Reynolds, said: “This is a richly-deserved honour for Ron who is held in high regard both internationally for his work and locally for his active involvement with the friends group.
“It will be a real honour for Wolverhampton Art Gallery to again exhibit his work next year.”
The international judging panel said in awarding Ron the honour it had considered his long, generous and prestigious career as a medal artist and teacher.
They acknowledged his contribution to the training of many contemporary well-known artists and said his work demonstrated the enormous creativity of an experimental artist.
Image caption: Ron Dutton (right) receives his award from Philip Atwood, keeper of coins and medals at The British Museum.