“$how me the money: The dollar as art” opens October 4 at Money Museum

September 25, 2002 By ekr

“$how me the money: The dollar as art” opens October 4 at Money Museum
Featuring the works of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and others

The art world lets loose with its views of America’s currency in an exhibit aptly titled “$how Me the Money: The Dollar as Art,” opening October 4 at the American Numismatic Association (ANA) Money Museum, 818 North Cascade Avenue.

“Collectors see money – from an ancient Greek drachma to a $100,000 bill – from many different perspectives, including historically, sociologically and economically,” says Museum Curator Lawrence Lee. “However, this exhibit presents an entirely new way to see money, even for experienced numismatists. These artists offer surprising and interesting views of the almighty dollar.”

Organized by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board and circulated by the Trust for Museum Exhibitions in Washington, D.C., the exhibit features 40 works – paintings, prints and sculpture – from 27 American and international artists whose creativity was inspired by the image and symbolism of United States money.

Mary Anne Goley, director of the Fine Arts Program for the Federal Reserve Board, says, “If art is a manifestation of the culture and society of its time, then the art of our time naturally 
reflects the pervasiveness of money in our everyday lives, and money continues to capture the imagination of artists. These particular artists have chosen to use currency itself as their 
subject and medium – whether freshly minted, aged, shredded or simply depicted. Some have indeed put money where a mouth should be!”

Goley says that in the 1960s and 1970s, images of money were “ubiquitous” among pop artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Dowd, who painted more than l00 images of currency between 1962 and 1968.

“Some artists chose to crumple, stretch, fold, or pleat the American dollar while others used the flat bill as a painting surface,” Goley says. “Within the sculptural tradition, Arman molded 
a polyester torso of a woman to house a floating hoard of single bills, and Adam Leventhal, continuing the pop tradition in the 1980s, silk-screened images of currency onto metal sheets to create a life-size humanoid figure.”

This show stems from a 1986 national competition and exhibition sponsored by the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, which sought new designs for the dollar bill. Two themes emerged from the competition, Goley says. “One was that money is ugly, and the other was that paper currency, as we know it, is an endangered species – being replaced by electronic transactions.”

ANA Curator Lee says a cashless society has been discussed for 30 or more years, but the proliferation of ATMs is a sure sign of money’s bright future. “For those who think the great American dollar is not an object of beauty, this exhibit will give them a new view, and maybe some ideas of their own on how our nation’s paper money should look.”

“$how Me the Money” opens with a public reception from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Money Museum at 818 North Cascade Avenue. The exhibit runs through December 1.
(The exhibit opens in conjunction with “Lateral Thinking: Art of the 1990s” at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 30 West Dale Street, next door to the ANA.)

The Money Museum is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information or to arrange a group tour, contact the American Numismatic Association, 818 N. Cascade Ave., Colorado Springs, CO 80903-3279; telephone 719/632-2646; fax 719/634-4085; E-mail museum@money.org; or visit the ANA website at www.money.org.

Originally Release Date: September 25, 2002
ANA Contacts: Phone: 719-482-9872
                            Email: pr@money.org
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