Monday, April 02, 2007


I visited the Industrialization exhibit at Medialia on Saturday. I'd like to recommend the show, but Saturday was the last day.

The show presented art and historical medals on the theme of industrialization. I enjoyed the show, which occupied two glass cases in the small gallery, as well as the permanent medal collection. My favorite pieces were some Japanese medals what seemed like a traditional style, and a Soviet space medal showing the Baikonur Cosmodrome behind Kazakh peasants.

Medialia is a gallery selling fine art sculpture. All the pieces are small, and most are what I'd call art medals. Until last week, I was unaware that New York even had a medal gallery. I've been to most of the shops that advertise in the ‘Coin and Stamp Dealer’ category in the phone book or whom show at the few local coin shows. Medialia doesn't do either. It appears in the phone book under ‘Antique Dealers’ and ‘Art Galleries & Dealers’.

I didn't know how to behave in the shop. When I'm in a coin dealer, I know that nearly everything is for sale, and that anything I'm not allowed to touch will be in a protective slab or 2x2. At an art gallery, one never touches anything.

I was given a free catalog of the show. It wasn't on glossy paper but it was still nice — and something one doesn't get at coin shops. The catalog seemed like something that medal and numismatic literature collectors would want, but I've never seen a Medialia catalog in a coin book auction and the ANS library appears to lack them as well. So, the catalogs are a new offering or great rarities.

At Medialia, only a few of the items had prices. The prices seemed high to me, but the medals offered were mostly better than the $50 medals I've bought at coin shows and on eBay. I plan to go back again, and learn about art medals. The space seems to host a lot of short shows. I picked up an announcement about an opening this Saturday, but the details are not yet on the web site.

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