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Replicating Value: New Approaches to Print and Money

APS-sponsored Session Proposal, RSA 2025

Organizers: Katherine Calvin (Assistant Professor of Art History, Kenyon College) and Elizabeth Rice Mattison (Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Academic Programming and Curator of European Art, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College)

The creation of money and the making of prints were closely aligned, both materially and conceptually, in the early modern period. Not only did the production of coins and prints share reproductive technologies, but the ready circulation of both objects connected vast geographies through trade and exchange. Coins, along with medals, emblems, and seals, were replicated in illustrated books, inflecting their creation, use, and worth for scholarly and elite audiences. While early modern coins were often modeled on classical precedents, prints became a key medium for developing notions of ancient architecture and ornament. Further, reproducibility provoked anxiety about the authenticity, originality, and value of both currency and prints. Although scholars have recently reexamined the social and cultural dimensions of money, the shared dialogue between printmaking and coinage has been overlooked in art historical literature. This panel invites submissions for 20-minute papers that examine the intersection of printmaking and money across geographies, raising new methodological and topical approaches to numismatics and print studies. In focusing new attention on the relationship between currency and printmaking, this panel aims to illuminate early modern considerations of value, worth, and exchange.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

The production and reception of numismatic books
Notions of value as they relate to prints and money
Questions about authenticity and security of prints and money
The shared imagery of prints and coins
Collecting practices of prints and currency
Prints and coins as stores of value
Technologies of making prints and money

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