Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Ten Dollars from Honest Money
  • Ganzeer
    born 1982
    born: Giza, Egypt
    Booklyn, Inc., publisher
    founded 1999
    Wasp Print, printer
    founded 2011
  • Ten Dollars from Honest Money, 2015
  • Ganzeer's Trouble Trunk
  • Where object was made: New York, New York, United States
  • color letterpress
  • Object Height/Width: 166 x 65 mm
    Object Height/Width: 6 9/16 x 2 9/16 in
  • Museum purchase: Shirley Cundiff Haines and Jordan L. Haines Art Acquisition Fund
  • Not on display
  • 2016.0025.20
Description

The recto depicts three Chinese railroad workers. Text at the top reads: “10 Ten Dollars, Federal Reserve [sic] note of the United States of America. This note is part of an art project titled “Honest Money” by visual artist “Ganzeer”. This note is not intended as a legal tender for all debts, public or private, although its value exceeds the current value of ten U.S. dollars. Series 2015. Chinese immigrants working on the U.S. railroad.” In the bottom left corner is partially obscured text, reading: “In exploitation we trust.”
The verso is a map of the United States printed in green ink with red lines representing transcontinental railroads. Text to the right of the map reads: “Ten Dollars. Approximately 11,000 Chinese helped build the U.S. transcontinental railways. By 1880, there were 300,000 Chinese in the U.S., some of who worked the Southern plantations after the American Civil War, or helped set up California’s agriculture and fisheries, or came for the California gold rush. Church leaders denounced Chinese presence, papers smeared them, and in 1882, U.S. Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act.”