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Developing a Greek Currency Exhibit

Classically Greek: Coins and Bank Notes from Antiquity to Today, the newest exhibit in the Smithsonian Castle, gives insight into the development of the history of Greece through the images on its currency.

The objects used in this exhibit come from the National Bank of Greece and the Welfare Foundation for Social and Cultural Affairs (KIKPE), also in Greece.  Before the artifacts arrived from Greece, OEC designer Alicia Jager used images of the objects to design a layout and panels for the display. She used gold and silver hues to maintain a classic tone throughout the fourteen panels used in the exhibit.

OEC writer/editor Rosemary Regan rewrote the script for the show sent from Athens from a larger exhibit, which presented several challenges. The original exhibit was more specific about modern Greek history, so Regan reworked the script to present a broader view of Greek history to be more accessible to a non-Greek audience. Regan also had to add some information about figures from Ancient Greece and Greek mythology that the average visitor in America might not know about, but which did not need explanation in Greece.

The team at OEC worked with the numismatic collection staff at the National Museum of American History and the organizations in Greece to confirm details about the exhibition.  Ellen Dorn, OEC director of Special Exhibitions, has collaborated with teams from other countries in the past. Dorn described that two of the biggest issues with working internationally are time differences and shipping issues, but then explained:

All in all though, there’s not a huge difference in dealing with museums here or outside of the US…[e]ven though there are some differences when dealing with lenders in other countries, the safety of the objects always take priority, no matter if they're coming from a lender within or from outside of the US.

This exhibit can be seen in the Schermer Hall of the Castle and will be on display until June 10, 2008.

top photo: Jager puts the finishing touches on a label.

bottom photo: Graphics panels and display cases containing Greek coins and bank notes

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