Here's a nice article about the ‘Money on Paper’ exhibit at Princeton University. Great poster art.
A new exhibit from the Princeton University Numismatic Collection aims to change our perspective on the uses of money.
"Money on Paper," at the Firestone library graphic arts exhibition hall through January 2, makes the case that bank notes, even in America, "have constituted one of the dominant forms of visual communication for the past two centuries."
The literal poster child for this argument comes from 1920s Czechoslovakia, in the form of a bill designed by a popular artist.
"We have chosen as the poster image for the exhibit a drawing from a Czech banknote by the art nouveau artist Alfons Mucha, which shows how creative paper money design can be," said Alan Stahl, curator of the collection.
Princeton's assemblage is the oldest coin and paper money collection in the United States, built primarily with gifts from collectors.
The idea for the current show came from one, alumnus Vsevolod Onyshkevych, who has his own extensive collection of international paper money, Stahl said. The show was also able to borrow works by engravers of bank notes from the university's art museum, he said.
During the same period as Mucha, major artists such as Emile Vloors of Belgium and Eliel Saarinen of Finland helped design their currencies. The Netherlands later turned to R.D.E. Oxenaar and J.T.G. Drupsteen for its distinctive notes.
The Princeton show features a large selection of Ben Franklin's nature-print notes, as well as issues from Paul Revere and Thomas Coram, who applied classical images to bank notes from colonial South Carolina.
One of the exhibition's featured works comes from celebrated wildlife artist John James Audubon. A banknote engraving of a grouse, it was the Audubon's first published work, and is grouped with other items from him, including an original watercolor.
After a side trip into the Confederacy, the American portion of the show goes on to an 1896 series of notes from noted artists, considered a high point of the nation's currency.
As an accompaniment to the show, Stahl has prepared a publication that includes the full catalogue of the exhibit as well as essays from other contributors.
During the run, on Oct. 17 at 3 p.m., Mark D. Tomasko will offer a free lecture in McCormick Hall on "The Art of Bank Note Engraving," followed by a reception and curatorial tour of the exhibit. Other tours are scheduled for 3 p.m. on November 22 and December 12.
To read the complete article, see:
Princeton exhibit examines ‘Money on Paper’
Wayne Homren, Editor
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