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Show Me the Money: The Image of Finance, 1700 to the Present

Show Me the Money: The Image of Finance, 1700 to the Present

An exhibition charting how the financial world has been imagined in art, illustration, photography and other visual media

11 July 2015 — 24 January 2016

Lloyds Banking Group Trading Floor, London, 2011-2014 © Simon Roberts

Time 10:00 - 17:00

Duration 7 hours

Cost In order to keep our exhibitions programme affordable to everyone, please make a donation

South Sea Bubble by Hogarth Courtesy of the Trustees of the British MuseumMidas, Transmuting All, Into Paper, by James Gillray, 1797. Courtesy of the Trustees of the British MuseumThis exhibition asks: what does ‘the market’ look like?  What does money really stand for?  How can the abstractions of high finance be made visible?  Who is finance for?  The exhibition charts how the financial world has been imagined in art, illustration, photography and other visual media over the last three centuries in Britain and the United States.  The project asks how artists have grappled with the increasingly intangible and self-referential nature of money and finance, from the South Sea Bubble of the 18th century to the global financial crisis of 2008.  The exhibition includes an array of media: paintings, prints, photographs, videos, artefacts, and instruments of financial exchange both ‘real’ and imagined.  Indeed, the exhibition also charts the development of a variety of financial visualisations, including stock tickers and charts, newspaper illustrations, bank adverts, and electronic trading systems.

The Beginning is Near © Alexandra ClotfelterShow Me The Money demonstrates that the visual culture of finance has not merely reflected Occupy posterprevailing attitudes to money and banking, but has been crucial in forging – and at times critiquing – the very idea of ‘the market’.  The exhibition toured three distinct regions of the country, beginning at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art.  It was then shown across two sites simultaneously: John Hansard Gallery, part of Southampton University, and Chawton House Library in Hampshire, which was owned by Jane Austen’s brother, himself implicated in a financial scandal of the 1810s.  The show continues here at the People’s History Museum in Manchester.

The exhibition includes newly commissioned works by Cornford & Cross, James O Jenkins, Immo Klink, Jane Lawson, Simon Roberts, David Stedham, and others, alongside the UK premieres of works by Molly Crabapple, Thomas Gokey, Goldin + Senneby and Wolfgang Weileder.  It also includes major works by artists The Lost Horizon © Cornford & Crossincluding Bill Balaskas, Mark Boulos, Robin Bhattacharya, Rhiannon Williams, and Carey Young.  Woven into the contemporary works are both historical images and artefacts from the banking profession.  The former include prints by William Hogarth, James Gillray and George Cruikshank, the leading graphic artists of the 18th and 19th centuries.  Archive ephemera from Barclays, TSB and other banks are shown with 19th century American cartoons, and historical board games created to give the public an insight into the realm of finance.

Exhibition updates:

  • Check out the fantastic Show Me the Money events programme - with something for visitors of all ages to enjoy.
  • Are you a teacher or group leader?  Bring your group to visit the exhibition and combine it with one of our Show Me the Money themed Learning sessions.
  • The project website includes an interactive game in the style of a newspaper beauty contest which is modelled on JM Keynes’ famous description of how the stock market operates.
  • ‘Show Me the Money’, a free app for children and adults, is available to download on the Apple App Store.  Users can design their own money, dress like a trader, and test their nerve in a stock market investment game.  The app also features background information and facts about the world of finance and a guide to the exhibition.
  • The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated book, published by Manchester University Press and edited by Peter Knight, Nicky Marsh and Paul Crosthwaite, available in the museum shop.  The publication provides a wider set of contexts – professional, intellectual, political, literary and artistic – that inform the exhibition.  The authors examine the history and politics of representations of finance through five essays by academic experts and curators alongside five commissioned contributions by notable public commentators on finance and art.  The writers include Andy Haldane, the Chief Economist at the Bank of England, who asks us: ‘What do you think about when you think about a ‘market’?’

Family Friendly exhibition, suitable for all ages