The Jacob Award dates back to 1957 and is named after the first recipient of the award, goldsmith Jacob Tostrup Prytz. Winners of the award over its almost 60-year history include jewellery designers, ceramicists, furniture designers, industrial designers, textile designers, architects, interior designers and graphic designers. The award is presented to individuals who have made a notable impact on the design disciplines.
Jacob Tostrup Prytz (1886–1962) was a central figure in design at a time when a new awareness of the artistic and vocational professions was spreading. Apart from being the artistic director of the family company J. Tostrup, he was also head of the goldsmithing programme at the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry from 1918 and rector of the school from 1934 to 1956. He took the initiative to establish the Applied Art Association (Foreningen Brukskunst) and was president of the association from 1920-1946.