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Lunch & Learn at Museum of American Finance

Start Time: 4/29/2015 12:30 pm
Location: Museum of American Finance
48 Wall Street
New York, NY 10005

Keep the Change Wednesday, April 29, 2015 | 12:30 PM to 01:30 PM

48 Wall Street | New York, NY 10005
Tel: 212.908.4110 | Fax: 212.908.4601

Harley J. Spiller – the Museum's own “Inspector Collector” – began collecting money at age five when, home sick from school, his father tossed him a sack of pennies and a Whitman coin folder. In the five decades since, Spiller has amassed one of America’s most extensive collections of unusual financial artifacts, as well as a wealth of anecdotes and quirky historical details about US currency. He says, “I see my collection as a cache that cannot be counted in standard ways. It’s not about money; it’s about what can be learned from money.”

In Keep the Change (Princeton Architectural Press April 2015), Spiller explains why greenbacks are green, what happens to worn-out bills, how artists navigate the fine line between art and mutilation and whether it’s ever acceptable to burn money. This highly selective tour through currency legends and lore will inspire readers to look with a new sense of wonder at the bills that pass through their hands every day.

Talk will be followed by Q&A and book signing. $5 tickets include Museum admission. Museum members and students are admitted free. Feel free to bring your lunch.

The Secret Life of Money: Design, Composition, and Covert Facts


Start Time: 10/11/2011 6:30 pm
Location: Seward Park Library
192 East Broadway (at Jefferson St.)
New York, NY 10002-5597

Harley Spiller, Senior Educator for The Museum of American Finance, a Smithsonian affiliate, shares his knowledge of the history of paper money in the United States of America. Covering a swath of continental fiscal history, from Ben Franklin to Ben Bernanke, Spiller leads a hands-on exploration of the physical characteristics of greenbacks. Spiller regales audiences with surprising and true stories, like the one about the bank manager who threw away hundreds of dollars in dumpsters every year - and was rewarded for doing so. Why did our founding fathers selected the color green? You know why there are thirteen olive leaves, thirteen arrows and thirteen layers in the pyramid but why is there a 14th star? Join Spiller on this fascinating exploration of the mysteries behind seemingly-ordinary greenbacks and shares his extraordinary collection of rare and unusual government misprints, offbeat bills, exonumia, and more.
cost: Free

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