Erasmus Prize

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Erasmus Prize
Logo Erasmusprijs (cropped).jpg
Awarded forNotable contributions to European culture, society, or social science
First awarded1958
Last awardedAnnual award[1]
Website Edit this on Wikidata

The Erasmus Prize is an annual prize awarded by the board of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation to individuals or institutions that have made exceptional contributions to culture, society, or social science in Europe and the rest of the world.[1] It is one of Europe's most distinguished recognitions.[2] The prize is named after Desiderius Erasmus, the Dutch Renaissance humanist.

Prize and adornment[edit]

As of 2015, the prize consists of €150,000[1] and an adornment that was designed by Bruno Ninaber van Eyben in 1995. The adornment is a ribbon folded in the style of a harmonica, with ends made of titanium plates. The ribbon bears a text in the handwriting of Erasmus taken from a letter to Jean Carondelet written on 5 January 1523. The text reads "variae sunt ingeniorum dotes multae seculorum varietates sunt. quod quisque potest in medium proferat nec alteri quisquam invideat qui pro sua virili suoque modo conatur publicis studiis utilitatis aliquid adiungere.", which translates as "Diverse are the gifts of men of genius and many are the different kinds of ages. Let each one reveal the scope of his competence and let no one be envious of another who in keeping with his own ability and style tries to make a useful contribution to the education of all."[3]


The award ceremony typically takes place at the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, where the prize is presented by the patron of the Foundation (King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands as of 2015). A wide range of academic and cultural activities are organised around the Erasmus Prize award ceremony, in cooperation with other academic and cultural organisations. These have included lectures, conferences, workshops, exhibitions, performances of dance, music and theatre, and other educational activities. An essay on the topic of the laureate and their work is also published.[4]

The prize was first awarded in 1958. As of 2015 it has been awarded a total of 73 times in 53 years.[1][5] The area in which the Erasmus prize will be awarded is decided upon in advance by the Foundation's board. An advisory committee then consults with Dutch and foreign experts before proposing a laureate; the final choice of the laureate is then made by the Foundation's board.[4]

Young researchers[edit]

The Erasmus prize is not intended to stimulate young researchers.[4] However, the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation has awarded from 1988 yearly "studyprizes" for exceptionally high quality PhD studies on the field of humanities or social sciences.

Prize winners[edit]

Photo Year Winner Notes References
Flag of Austria.svg 1958 The People of Austria Cultural heritage. Awarded at the University of Milan. Prize funds were granted to Austrians studying in Europe; foreign students studying in Austria; and excavations at Ephesus. [5][6]
Robert Schuman-1929.jpg 1959 Robert Schuman [5]
Karl Jaspers 1946.jpg 1959 Karl Jaspers [5]
Chagall France 1921.jpg 1960 Marc Chagall [5]
Oskar Kokoschka (1963) by Erling Mandelmann.jpg 1960 Oskar Kokoschka [5]
Romano Guardini um 1920.JPG 1962 Romano Guardini [5]
Martin Buber portrait.jpg 1963 Martin Buber [5]
Logo de l'Union Académique Internationale.jpg 1964 Union Académique Internationale [5]
Charlie Chaplin krijgt in het Congresgebouw de Erasmusprijs uitgereikt. Van link, Bestanddeelnr 019-0619.jpg Ingmar Bergman Smultronstallet.jpg 1965 Sir Charles Chaplin, Ingmar Bergman [5]
Herbert Read (1966).jpg Erasmusprijs 1966, uitreiking in Ridderzaal te Den Haag prins reikt prijs uit aa, Bestanddeelnr 919-2923.jpg 1966 Herbert Read, René Huyghe [5]
Jan Tinbergen 1982.jpg 1967 Jan Tinbergen [5]
Henry Moore in workshop Allan Warren.jpg 1968 Henry Moore [5]
Prijswinnaars Carl von Weizsäcker en Gabriël Marcel, Bestanddeelnr 922-9099.jpg 1969 Gabriel Marcel, Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker [5]
Hans Scharoun.jpg 1970 Hans Scharoun [5]
Lezing Franse compoist Olivier Messianen in Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haa, Bestanddeelnr 933-8262.jpg 1971 Olivier Messiaen [5]
JPiaget-PBovet-1925 - cropped.jpg 1972 Jean Piaget [5]
Levi-strauss 260.jpg 1973 Claude Lévi-Strauss [5]
Prins Bernhard reikt Erasmusprijs uit aan Ninette de Valois in aanwezigheid van koningin Juliana en prinses Beatrix, Bestanddeelnr 927-2719.jpg Prins Bernhard reikt Erasmusprijs uit aan Ninette de Valois in aanwezigheid van , Bestanddeelnr 927-2720.jpg 1974 Ninette de Valois, Maurice Béjart [5]
Ernst Gombrich (1975).jpg Sandberg1962.jpg 1975 Ernst Gombrich, Willem Sandberg [5]
ReneDavid1976ErasmusPrize.jpg 1976 Amnesty International, René David [5]
Kaegi1977.jpg Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F001192-0003, Bonn, Besuch Jean Monnet, Konrad Adenauer.jpg 1977 Werner Kaegi, Jean Monnet [5]
ErasmusPrize1978.jpg 1978 Puppet Theatre/Theme puppetry: [5][citation needed]
Marion Dönhoff, Prins Bernhard en Fred Luchsinger (1979).jpg 1979 Die Zeit, Neue Zürcher Zeitung [5]
Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1980).jpg Gustav Leonhardt.jpg 1980 Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Gustav Leonhardt [5]
Jean Prouvé (1981).jpg 1981 Jean Prouvé [5]
Edward Schillebeeckx.jpg 1982 Edward Schillebeeckx [5]
Raymond Aron (1966).jpg BernhardYourcenarKolakowskiBerlin1983.jpg 1983 Raymond Aron, Isaiah Berlin, Leszek Kołakowski, Marguerite Yourcenar [5]
Massimo Pallottino.jpg 1984 Massimo Pallottino [5]
Paul Delouvrier en Prins Bernhard (1985).jpg 1985 Paul Delouvrier [5]
Vaclav Havel cropped.jpg 1986 Václav Havel [5]
Alexander King (1987).jpg 1987 Alexander King [5]
1988 Ledoux portret bureau.jpg 1988 Jacques Ledoux [5]
1989 International Commission of Jurists uitreiking 4.jpg 1989 International Commission of Jurists [5]
1990 Clark laudatio.jpg 1990 Sir Grahame Clark [5]
Bernard Haitink 1984b.jpg 1991 Bernard Haitink [5]
Spain Andalusia Seville BW 2015-10-23 14-27-54.jpg 1992 General Archive of the Indies [5]
Simon Wiesenthal (1982).jpg 1992 Simon Wiesenthal [5]
Dmitry Medvedev 4 November 2008-8.jpg 1993 Peter Stein [5]
Dieter Frowein Lyasso&Sigmar Polke.jpeg 1994 Sigmar Polke [5]
Renzo Piano cropped.jpg 1995 Renzo Piano [5]
William H. McNeill.jpg 1996 William Hardy McNeill [5]
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F078267-0023, Bonn, Ministerpräsidenten mit EU-Kommissar Delors-CROPPED.jpg 1997 Jacques Delors [5]
Mauricio Kagel (1985).jpg PeterSellarsOjai.jpg 1998 Mauricio Kagel, Peter Sellars [5]
Mary Robinson-Obama31.04secs.png 1999 Mary Robinson [5]
Hans van Manen (1986).jpg 2000 Hans van Manen [5]
Claudio Magris.JPG Adam Michnik (2012).jpg 2001 Claudio Magris, Adam Michnik [5]
2002 Echtpaar Becher prijsuitreiking 5.jpg 2002 Bernd and Hilla Becher [5]
2003 Davidson prijsuitreiking 1.tif 2003 Alan Davidson [5]
2004 Al Azm Mernissi Soroush uitreiking handdruk.tif 2004 Abdolkarim Soroush, Sadik Al-Azm and Fatema Mernissi [5]
Simon Schaffer 2015.JPG Steven Shapin, HSS 2008.jpg 2005 Simon Schaffer and Steven Shapin [5]
2006 Bernard prijsuitreiking 10.jpg 2006 Pierre Bernard [5]
Peter Forgacs.JPG 2007 Péter Forgács [5]
Ian buruma 2006.jpg 2008 Ian Buruma [5]
Antonio Cassese (born 1937) - Flickr image 3943365916 by Margaret Zimmerman.jpg Benjamin Ferencz - Chief Prosecutor in 1947 Einsatzgruppen Trial - In Courtroom 600 Where Nuremberg Trials Were Held - Palace of Justice - Nuremberg-Nurnberg - Germany - 02.jpg 2009 Antonio Cassese, Benjamin B. Ferencz [5]
2010 José Antonio Abreu [5]
2011 Busquets prijsuitreiking 7.JPG 2011 Joan Busquets [5]
Daniel Dennett in Venice 2006.png 2012 Daniel Dennett [5]
JuergenHabermas.jpg 2013 Jürgen Habermas [5]
Kunst in Zeiten des Umbruchs - Belgian curator Frie Leysen (7347702878).jpg 2014 Frie Leysen Theme of "Theatre, audience and society" [5][7]
Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg 2015 Wikipedia community For "[promoting] the dissemination of knowledge through a comprehensive and universally accessible encyclopaedia. To achieve that, the initiators of Wikipedia have designed a new and effective democratic platform. The prize specifically recognises Wikipedia as a community—a shared project that involves tens of thousands of volunteers around the world." [1][2]
AS Byatt Portrait.jpg 2016 A. S. Byatt For inspiring contribution to 'life writing' [8][9]
MicheleLamont2017.jpg 2017 Michèle Lamont "For her devoted contribution to social science research into the relationship between knowledge, power and diversity" [10]
Barbara Ehrenreich 2 by David Shankbone.jpg 2018 Barbara Ehrenreich For giving "a voice to groups in society that would otherwise remain unheard" [11]
CMB 7715 (8881407995).jpg 2019 John Adams "Because he has created a new musical idiom by fusing elements from jazz, pop and classical music" [12]
Grayson Perry February 13, 2007.jpg 2021 Grayson Perry "Perry has developed a unique visual language, demonstrating that art belongs to everybody and should not be an elitist affair." [13]
David Grossman Bibliothèques idéales Strasbourg 4 septembre 2015.jpg 2022 David Grossman "He seeks to understand people from within, and to regard the other with love, across borders of war and history." [14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Erasmus Prize". Praemium Erasmianum Foundation. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Wikipedia turns 14, receives prestigious Erasmus Prize 2015". Wikimedia Foundation. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Prize and Adornments". Praemium Erasmianum Foundation. Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "Organisation". Praemium Erasmianum Foundation. Archived from the original on 23 June 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh "Former Laureates". Praemium Erasmianum Foundation. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  6. ^ "Former Laureats – The Austrian people". Praemium Erasmianum Foundation. Archived from the original on 8 October 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  7. ^ "Former Laureates". Praemium Erasmianum Foundation. Archived from the original on 8 October 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  8. ^ "Britse schrijfster A.S. Byatt krijgt Erasmusprijs" (in Dutch). NOS. 17 January 2016. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  9. ^ "Press release: Erasmus Prize 2016 awarded to A.S. Byatt". 17 January 2016. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Nieuws :: Praemium Erasmianum". (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 10 April 2018. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  11. ^ Press release: 2018 Erasmus Prize awarded to Barbara Ehrenreich (Retrieved 1 May 2018)
  12. ^ Press release: 2019 Erasmus Prize awarded to John Adams (Retrieved 21 February 2019)
  13. ^ "Grayson Perry". Praemium Erasmianum Foundation. 5 October 2020. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  14. ^ "David Grossman". Praemium Erasmianum Foundation. Retrieved 18 April 2022.

External links[edit]