Wednesday, February 17, 2016

'The Art of Money' is a treasure worth hoarding

Most of us don't associate money with art. But banknotes are often a canvas for beautiful and fascinating designs that offer a window on a country's distinct culture, heritage and geography. In The Art of Money: The History and Design of Paper Currency From Around the World, David Standish takes us on a trip through the beautiful and bizarre imagery on international bills —"from the Little Prince on French currency to the furry denizens of the rainforest of Madagascar to the obscure Salmon P. Chase, Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of State, on the $10,000 US note."

Standish provides interesting tales about why certain people, places, animals, things, and symbols appear on currencies, and devotes the final chapter to American money, which at various points depicted George Washington crossing the Delaware River, Benjamin Franklin with a kite, and Pocahontas getting baptized.

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