The Cullum Geographical Medal is one of the oldest awards of the American Geographical Society. It was established in the will of George Washington Cullum, the vice president of the Society, and is awarded "to those who distinguish themselves by geographical discoveries or in the advancement of geographical science". It was first awarded in 1896 to Robert Peary. The gold medal was designed by Lydia Field Emmet.
"On the front is the figure of a young man standing in the bow of a boat. He has thrown down his oars upon discovering land. He shades his eyes with his hand as the boat progresses through the waves. A sea gull, hovering, indicates the proximity of land. The whole is supposed to represent enterprise and the spirit of exploration. Inscribed on the face of the medal is: The American Geographical Society of New York.""The reverse, to typify achievement and award, bears a female figure – Columbia, the left hand resting on a globe and the right holding out a laurel wreath. Beneath the right arm is the tablet to bear the record of the achievement for which the award is made. On the side is the inscription: The Cullum Geographical Medal."
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