MoAF opens exhibition on Blacks on US Currency

April 6, 2017 – In honor of Black History Month, the Museum of American Finance has opened “For the Love of Money: Blacks on US Currency,” a traveling exhibit on loan from the Museum of UnCut Funk.

View inside the exhibition. Photo: © Elsa Ruiz.

View inside the exhibition. Photo: © Elsa Ruiz.

To be featured on currency is among the nation’s highest honors. The Treasury’s latest redesign – which will feature Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill beginning in 2020 – will acknowledge for the first time on paper money the contributions of Black and women’s rights activists in advancing American democracy. 

Showcase with Barack Obama 2017 Presidential Medals. Photo: © Alan Barnett.

Showcase with Barack Obama 2017 Presidential Medals. Photo: © Alan Barnett.

There is a longer tradition of honoring such leaders through the creation of commemorative coins, medals and medallions. Through legislation, Congress has chosen to honor on US commemorative currency Black icons, seminal historic events and institutions which have significantly influenced American and Black history.

Medal honoring Marian Anderson, the first black person ever to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Photo: © Alan Barnett.

Medal honoring Marian Anderson, the first black person ever to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Photo: © Alan Barnett.

“For the Love of Money” honors barrier breaking Black athletes, entertainers, civil rights leaders, military leaders and politicians, and it features the historic contributions of several prominent Black women. The exhibit showcases more than 40 anti-slavery tokens, commemorative coins, concept coins, commemorative bronze medals, Presidential bronze medals and commemorative medallions representing American and Black history milestones that have contributed to the betterment of the United States. Additional coins and medals will be added to the exhibit as they are released in 2017.

This exhibit will be on view through January 2018. 

More information can be found at the website of the Museum of American Finance.

To visit the website of the Museum of UnCut Funk, please click here.

And more about Harriet Tubman’s appearance on the American 20-dollar note can be found in this CoinsWeekly article. 

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