World of Coins

Research and reference => Numismatics => Topic started by: chrisild on July 17, 2012, 10:14:48 PM

Title: British Museum: New Money Gallery
Post by: chrisild on July 17, 2012, 10:14:48 PM
If you want to see old underwear and clunky cell phones, look at this page:

And if you wonder what this is about, click the first colored link in the text - or go here:

The British Museum (in London, UK :) ) has a new Money Gallery. Like the rest of the museum, admission is free. This addition is sponsored by Citigroup, hence "Citi Money Gallery". Lots of exhibits can be viewed online. Try it out!

Title: Re: Money Museum
Post by: EWC on December 29, 2014, 10:21:52 AM
I gather the British Museum coin exhibition got a big make over around the time HKSB funding ceased and Citibank took over.  Have not been in to see the results myself yet - but would be interested to hear if anyone has thoughts.
Title: Re: British Museum: New Money Gallery
Post by: chrisild on December 29, 2014, 02:48:01 PM
Merged your reply with this topic. And no, I have not been to the Money Gallery yet. But I would also be interested in reports. :)

Title: Re: British Museum: New Money Gallery
Post by: andyg on December 29, 2014, 11:20:34 PM
Not sure when it was "upgraded" - last time I was there earlier this year I didn't notice.... :-\
Title: Re: British Museum: New Money Gallery
Post by: EWC on December 30, 2014, 10:31:05 AM
Merged your reply with this topic.

Many thanks indeed Christian!  Fascinating.

Here are some thoughts on the way Money Museums are going.  In general, when I was young, places like the British Museum were government funded and interfaced with the population by attributing coins for beginner collectors in the general public, and engaging in research programs in collaboration with more advanced collectors mostly through societies.

In recent decades this has changed quite a lot, as such institutions are pushed to seek external funding, which most often comes from Banking or Wealth Management sources.  Galleries have appeared, focused primarily upon educating schoolchildren, meanwhile institutions seem to me to be pulling back from the collector community.  The British Museum no longer attributes for the public in the way it did for many decades for instance.  (I know the BN used to offer this service also – is that still true?)

An old cynic like me of course will be worried about banks being involved in educating their future clients.  My mind turns to a medieval sarcophagus lying in the wonderful medieval Church at Hexham, which shows a carving of a fox preaching to geese.  Thus I keep my eye out for signs of bias in these exhibitions, and would be interested to get reports/thoughts bearing upon that matter

I guess Chris Meachin was much involved in negotiating the HSBC (not HKBC as I put earlier!) BM funding.  A member of the Institute for Creditory Economics

I am unhappy with the “money is debt” philosophy espoused by that group – which has been much promoted within heterodox economics and amongst anti-globalisation protestors.  However – I saw no problems of bias within the original HSBC gallery itself, so am curious to see what Citi have since done to it
Title: Re: British Museum: New Money Gallery
Post by: Figleaf on December 30, 2014, 11:55:51 AM
Afraid it's part of a worldwide trend among politicians, who see museums as ballast, a cost item and a producer of nothing useful, a tradition at best. By itself, that fits into a political rightward shift as the Soviet Union ceased to exist. You would have thought that the unemployment of the crises of 1999 and 2008 would have caused a balancing out... The politicians are supported by civil servants who see museums as playgrounds for school children, whose school funds will cough up the money to pay the bills. Try seeing the superb numismatic collection of the Smithsonian, for instance.

In my (limited to one occasion) experience, sponsors are not involved with the scientific level of an exhibition they sponsor. Rather, they worry about the "message" of the exhibition and how it fits into the corporate image the marketeers think they have created. Citi was involved in some bruising court cases, following the Lehman crisis. It came out smelling foul and looking unresponsive, secretive and ingrown. I suppose their sponsorship is meant to convey a message like "we love money", but also "we contribute to the community". Ironic, that banks seem more attuned to community than politicians.

With the negativism about museums going on, I wonder if we are not going to see a shift to the internet. I remember the days when the BM had case after case of British coins, laying out the numismatic history of the country in strict chronological order. It wouldn't do today, the schoolchildren would hate it, but Stockholm still has such an exhibition and I spent hours ogling it. If there's a public for it, why not a virtual gallery? Let the kids gallop among electronic games and let the old fogeys do the surfing...