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Mária Poldaufová

Mária Poldaufová

(30. 12. 1951)

Mária Poldaufová belongs among the most famous designers of commemorative medals and coins in Slovakia. Thanks to many productions and awards she is, however, also famous abroad. Her greatest successes include winning in the International Coin Design Competition 2011 announced by the Japanese mint. She accepted the prize in person in Tokyo. Mária is also the author of the reverse side of the commemorative Komárno Fortress coin which was declared the most beautiful coin of the year by the Prize Vicenza Numizmatica institution in 2008.

She regularly takes part in FIDEM exhibitions and in exhibitions organized by the Association of Slovak Medal Designers.

She produced her first medal in 1998 when she succeeded with her design commemorating the poet Ján Smrek. The competition was announced by the National Bank of Slovakia.

Her name is associated with the mint in Kremnice for which she worked for many years. Since her childhood Mária Poldaufová loves physical activity, and even today she enjoys skiing or cycling.

Mária Poldaufová was born in Kremnice, where she also studied at the Secondary School of Applied Arts. It is in this town which is historically associated with coin minting that she has her studio.


In Tokyo you personally accepted the prize for the first place in the International Coin Design Competition 2011. What does this award mean to you?
This event means a lot to me. It was the first time I took part in the competition and I won, so I see it as a climax of my creative work.

Did you have any opportunity to get to know Japanese coin production?
The award ceremony was accompanied by a world exhibition of coins and medals and I could therefore see the production from around the world and the Japanese work, of course, represented a part of it.

Your success in Tokyo, however, was not the only one …
I also value the award for the most beautiful coin of the year. This is how a silver collectible coin featuring the Komárno Fortress was appraised by the Prize Vicenza Numizmatica institution. I am the author of the reverse, the obverse was designed by Karol Ličko. I also consider the fifth place in a competition for a medal announced by the FIDEM organization as a success.

The design production of coins and commemorative medals is closely associated with history. Which period is closest to you, on a personal level?
I like history a lot and I am very interested in it. When I work on some historical theme, I want to get acquainted with it, for example by studying different publications. I cannot say, however, that I would prefer one historical period over another.

What qualities must a successful medal designer have? Is it only about talent or can you achieve good results also by diligence and hard work?
You have to be endowed with a grain. But the way you start to water it so that something can grow from it depends only on you, because by every new creation you get experience and you move further.
Above all, a medal designer must be a remarkably hard worker and he must have patience. To make a medal once a year, once a half-year, is not enough, it will not take him anywhere.
The result also depends to a large extent on the psychological state of the author because the production comes from the inside. If the artist is not prepared, it is reflected in his design and it is apparent that something is not right.

Another artworks prepared by Márie Poldaufové

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