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veritas Harvard University Library Notes, For Harvard Library Staff, Number 1325 May 2005


Jay Uytenbogaert, The Goldweigher. Rembrandt van Rhyn, Netherlands, 1639, CA n4 x.


Harvard University Library Notes / March 2006 / No. 1330

Baker Exhibition Continues Through May 22
Coin and Conscience

From Rembrandt to Gillray, there is something to please academic and art lover alike in an exhibition at Baker Library entitled "Coin and Conscience: Popular Views of Money, Credit and Speculation." The exhibition continues in the Baker lobby through May 22.

Through four centuries and six countries, from admonishing biblical allegory to scathing political cartoon, the images in the Bleichroeder Collection of prints at Baker Library resound with the same message: where there is money, there is power, vice, corruption, and misfortune. To view these prints is to trace society's changing attitudes toward money, from the Reformation and the Church's injunctions against usury to the Industrial Revolution to the emergence of modern capitalism.

The Bleichroeder Collection includes more than 1,000 woodcuts, engravings, etchings, and lithographs, ranging in date from the 16th to the 19th century. The collection was given to Baker Library in 1975 by the New York banking firm of Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder, Inc., in memory of Frederick H. Brunner, a member of the firm, who formed much of the collection.

The collection is divided into the following general subject categories: views of stock exchanges, banks, mints, and treasuries; portraits of bankers, statesmen, and financiers; political and personal satires; national finance and taxation; images of money lenders, avarice, corruption, poverty, charity, and anti-Semitism; and a large number of prints on speculation and credit. Many prominent artists are represented in the collection, including Breughel, Goltzius, Rembrandt, Hogarth, and Gillray, to name a few. A card catalog index at Baker Library provides both subject and artist access to the collection.

Seventy items from the Bleichroeder Collection are available digitally in a permanent online exhibition at http://www.library.hbs.edu/hc/cc. This selection of images represents the major thematic divisions of the collection, while also displaying its geographic and stylistic diversity.

For more information, contact the Historical Collections Department at 5-6411 or histcollref@hbs.edu.


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