The Invention of a Numismatic Iconography
There is an online version of the exhibition at
An Exhibition of Coins, Medals, Banknotes
3 March 2012 – 8 July 2012
Leonard L. Milberg Gallery for the Graphic Arts
Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On Sunday, May 6, Louis Jordan, University of Notre Dame, will give a public lecture entitled "Transformations in Numismatic Iconography during the American Revolution" at 4 p.m. in 101 McCormick Hall on the Princeton campus. The lecture will be preceded at 2:30 by a curatorial tour of the exhibition in Firestone Library by Alan M. Stahl, Princeton's Curator of Numismatics. A reception in Firestone Library will follow the lecture. Additional curatorial tours will be held on Sunday, March 25, and Thursday, May 31, both at 2:30 p.m.
For further information contact Alan M. Stahl, Curator of Numismatics at email@example.com.
Money on Paper
Paper money as a form of art might seem the makings of a rather small exhibition, to judge from the modern bills of the United States and Europe. Bank notes, however, have constituted one of the dominant forms of visual communication for the past two centuries, and in many cases can be seen as works of art in their own right. Princeton University's Numismatic Collection is featuring currency worth looking at in the exhibition "Money on Paper" on view in the August 30, 2010, through January 2, 2011.
New Jersey, 1 shilling, December 31, 1763.
Because British colonial policies resulted in a dearth of circulating coins, the American colonies were the home of the earliest regular issues of paper money. Illustration was applied to colonial currency as an anti-counterfeiting device as well as for aesthetic purposes. Not surprisingly, the most inventive printer of paper money of the time was Benjamin Franklin, who devised a system of transferring the vein patterns of tree leaves to printing plates to foil counterfeiters. The Princeton exhibition includes a large selection of Franklin's nature-print notes, as well as issues of Paul Revere and the South Carolina engraver Thomas Coram, who brought classical imagery to that colony's bank notes.
For more information on this exhibition or on the Princeton University Numismatic Collection, contact curator Alan Stahl, firstname.lastname@example.org, (609) 258-9127.
This major exhibit was held in the main exhibit hall of Firestone Library, November 19, 2007 through July 20, 2008. It comprised a selection of early printed books from Princeton University Library holdings that contain numismatic illustrations based on ancient coins, displayed alongside coins from the Princetone University Numismatic Collection that correspond to those illustrations. The books included treatises on numismatics, works on ancient history, and editions of classical texts such as Suetonius’s Lives of the Caesars. The confrontation of the printed and numismatic sources illuminated the role of numismatics in the development of humanistic writing and publishing and the effect of the inclusion of coin images on the development of book illustration. Additional features of the exhibit were an example of the 1561 map of Rome by Pirro Ligorio, which used ancient coin images as the basis of the illustration of many buildings, and sixteenth-century coins and medals that display the growing interest in and knowledge of ancient coins in the era.
A Symposium entitle "The Rebirth of Antiquity" was held in conjunction with the opening of the exhibit. The papers given at the symposium were published in the Winter 2008 issue of the Princeton University Library Chronicle and are available as a hardbound volume.
More information on the Numismatics in the Renaissance exhibit.
The Byzantine Mint of Thessalonica. In the central Middle Ages, the Byzantine empire faced progressive loss of lands in Asia Minor in the face of Turkish expansion. It increasingly turned its attention to its western, Balkan lands. This new orientation is epitomized in the coinage of the mint of Thessalonica in northern Greece, which had operated only sporadically since the seventh century. As part of his far-reaching currency reforms, Alexius I Comnenus re-opened the mint of Thessalonica, probably to supply coins to his troops in the northern Balkans. It remained the second mint of the empire until the capture of Constantinople by the Europeans on the Fourth Crusade in 1204, and resumed its role as an important mint after the restoration of the unified Byzantine Empire in 1262. The 18 coins in this exhibit were purchased in 2005 with matching funds provided by the Program in Hellenic Studies with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger Hellenic Fund
The Diplomatic Medal. The Diplomatic Medal was intended as a gift to foreign diplomats who had helped the American Congress during the Revolution. Thomas Jefferson chose to have this medal made by the French Mint, as had Congress when awarding medals to the heroes of the American Revolution, as it was considered to be the best equipped artistically and technically. The arms depicted on the obverse constitute one of the earliest appearances of the Great Seal of the United States. The reverse is typical of the art of its day, with the juxtaposition of classical, historical and contemporary motifs – note the Indian maiden in a chief’s bonnet and grass skirt, and the sailing ship behind Mercury. The medal was designed by Augustin Dupré. The dies were completed in 1791, and examples in gold were presented to the Marquis de la Luzerne (French Minister to the United States from 1779 to 1784) and the Count de Moustier (French Minister to the Unite d States from 1787 to 1791). Both of the recipients were forced to emigrate during the French Revolution, and their medals are presumed to have been melted. Six examples were struck in bronze and were delivered to the American government; of these three are known to have survived. The example on display is the only one in a public collection.Gift of Cornelius C. Vermeule, III, 2003, from the collection of his grandfather, Senator Cornelius C. Vermeule (1858-1950).
http:// www.princeton.edu /~rbsc/department/numismatics/index.shtml
Last modified March 1, 2012