The Wallace Medal is awarded by the Wallace Memorial Fund for outstanding contributions to Wallace scholarship and/or the public understanding of his life and work. There are silver and bronze versions.
Sterling silver (left) and bronze (right) Wallace Medals. The medal measures 7.4cm x 6.1cm.
(This photo is by George Beccaloni but it may be reproduced freely).
2013: At an event at London's Natural History Museum on 7th November (the 100th anniversary of Wallace's death), framed silver medals were awarded to Sir David Attenborough and Bill Bailey in recognition of their very important contributions to the public understanding of Wallace's life and work made during the 2013 anniversary year of Wallace's death.
The framed silver Wallace Medal. Copyright James Cranfield.
Sir David and Bill Bailey inspect their silver medals. Copyright Jan Beccaloni.
2017: James Costa was presented with a silver medal on the 14th October after delivering the Wallace Memorial Fund's 4th A. R. Wallace Lecture at University College London. It was awarded for his outstanding contributions to Wallace scholarship, including his books On the Organic Law of Change (Harvard, 2013) and Wallace, Darwin, and the Origin of Species (Harvard, 2014).
James Costa with his silver Wallace Medal.
2023: Charles H. Smith was awarded the silver medal for his invaluable contributions to Wallace scholarship and to the public understanding of Wallace's life and work. No other Wallace scholar has published as much Wallace-related material as he has. Not only has Charles tracked down, and in most cases transcribed, Wallace's numerous publications (see HERE) (many of which he 'rediscovered'), but he has also published many scholarly articles and books about Wallace's life and work (see references to Smith's publications HERE).
Charles Smith with his silver medal
2015: Richard Milner was awarded the bronze medal at an event at London's Natural History Museum on the 2nd July in recognition of the major contribution he has made to the public understanding of Wallace's life and work, through his Templeton Foundation funded Wallace Centenary Celebration project.
Richard Milner with his bronze Wallace Medal. Copyright Lance Tuckett
History of the Medal
The medal is a cast replica of an electrotype (probably made of silvered copper) of a scaled-down copy of a portrait medallion of Wallace dated 1906, by Albert Bruce-Joy (1842-1924), which was modelled from photographs and from life. The original electrotype may well have belonged to Wallace himself, and it is now owned by one of his descendants. More information about Bruce-Joy's portrait medallions of Wallace can be found HERE.
The Wallace Fund would like to thank the Wallace family for allowing a mould to be made of their medal; James Cranfield for organising for this to be done; and Martin Hinchcliffe for arranging for a number of bronze and silver casts to be produced and for finishing them in his workshop.