Stamping Out Andrew Jackson on the $20 Bill Won’t Be So Easy

The administration’s decision to postpone the $20 makeover has inspired some Americans to make their own Tubmans. An artist named Dano Wall has been making stamps of Tubman’s face that can be used to blot out Jackson’s on the $20. (After Mnuchin’s announcement, the stamp sold out on Etsy, though you can also make your own.) Wall told the Washington Post that he’d like to get thousands of stamps out there: “If there are 5,000 people consistently stamping currency, we could get a significant percent of circulating $20 bills [with the Tubman] stamp, at which point it would be impossible to ignore.”

Despite the improbability of achieving widespread visibility, the idea of turning greenbacks into vehicles for political messages isn’t new.

Bracelli’s Bizzarie di Varie Figure (1624)

INTRO:

At first glance you may be forgiven for thinking these images to have sprung from some hitherto unknown corner of the Cubist movement, but these remarkably prescient etchings are in fact the creation of an artist working a whole three centuries earlier. In 1624, Giovanni Battista Bracelli — an Italian engraver and painter working in Florence — produced an extraordinary book of prints titled Bizzarie di Varie Figure (Oddities of various figures). Its forty-seven plates show a variety of human figures mainly interacting in pairs, their bodily forms composed of a range of objects, mostly abstract – cubes, interlocking rings, and squares — but also such things as rackets, screws, braided hair, and the natural forms of trees. 

“It’s a Beatle haircut”: historian says 15th-century portrait is a 1960s fake

To the National Gallery, the man depicted in the masterpiece that hangs in its gallery of 15th-century treasures is a holy man, possibly a saint, reading a legal text. And the portrait is believed – at least by the gallery’s experts – to have been created in the workshop of the Netherlandish painter Rogier van der Weyden.

But to one leading art historian, it is nothing of the sort.