Skip to the content
Content starts here

Souvenir Russian Medallion that belonged to Arthur Calwell #2010-0280

Medallion bearing the figure of Lenin on obverse and Russian inscription on reverse which translates as ‘Leningrad Gorod-Geroy’ (‘Leningrad Hero-City’). The medallion is presented in a red box and accompanied by a Russian hotel card.

History

This medallion is part of a collection of objects that belonged to Arthur Calwell, Australia’s first Minister for Immigration (1945-49) that were donated to the museum by his daughter, Dr Mary Elizabeth Calwell.

In 1967, after he had ceased to be leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party (but while still a Member of Parliament), Calwell visited Russia and was often impressed by what he observed there. The medallion is typical of souvenir presentations made to distinguished visitors to the Soviet Union at that time.

Show Statement of values
Hide Statement of values

Statement of values

This medallion is significant as part of the Arthur Calwell collection, which is comprised of a selection of objects that belonged to Australia’s first Minister for Immigration (1945-49), Arthur Calwell. The collection is significant as a whole because it tells a story about a leading Commonwealth parliamentarian of the middle decades of the twentieth century and includes highly personal material which tells of Calwell’s family life, his life-long involvement in Labor politics, and his personal religious convictions. The Arthur Calwell collection at the museum uniquely links the personal with the political, thus affording an opportunity to conduct research which tells a rounded story of this important parliamentarian.

This medallion is significant as evidence of the attempt by the Soviet Union to maintain friendly relations with a former leader of the main party of the left in Australia despite the tensions of the Cold War.

Reference:

Calwell, Arthur, Be just and fear not, Victoria: Hawthorn, 1972.

Kiernan, Colm, Calwell: a personal and political biography, Melbourne: Thomas Nelson, 1978.

  • Souvenir Russian Medallion that belonged to Arthur CalwellSouvenir Russian Medallion that belonged to Arthur Calwell —
  • Souvenir Russian Medallion that belonged to Arthur Calwell - obverseSouvenir Russian Medallion that belonged to Arthur Calwell - obverse —
  • Souvenir Russian Medallion that belonged to Arthur Calwell - reverseSouvenir Russian Medallion that belonged to Arthur Calwell - reverse —

Details

Width 103mm
Height 101mm
Depth 28mm
Medium Metal; cardboard; textile
Creator’s name Unknown
Date created Unknown