“War, revolution and dissent have been defining themes in all periods of world history and have shaped national identities and impacted on material and visual culture in myriad ways. As a mass-produced medium money was (and is), a powerful vehicle for disseminating the message of the issuer to the consumer, particularly in response to stressful events. However, money was also subverted or mutilated as an act of defiance.
Thanks to a grant from the Art Fund's New Collecting Awards scheme the Fitzwilliam Museum has embarked on a two year project to build a collection of Currencies of Conflict and Dissent. This project will develop a collection of monetary objects that represent the themes of wartime, emergency and revolution, and dissent, creating a material resource unlike any other in a museum collection.
One of the project's first acquisitions was a set of Hoe Street Central Bank notes. These objects are representative of the ways in which the concept of money can be subverted by the artist to address specific issues - in this case debt and money creation.”
Richard Kelleher, Assistant Keeper of Coins and Medals, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge