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Creating Connections Lecture Series | Too Handsome For Use: Bank Note Vignettes in the Antebellum Era with Dr. Amanda Lett

Thursday, January 25, 2024

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Location: The Rockwell Museum

Members: Free, Not-Yet-Members: $10, Students: $5 

Advance registration encouraged 

6-7 p.m. | Lecture
7-8 p.m. | Members-Only Reception  

Drawn from her 2019 dissertation, Dr. Amanda Lett will discuss the art of engraving before the Civil War in an unexpected media: paper money. Easily acquired and more easily discarded, engravers poured their best efforts into the small pieces of art that passed through the coffers of every type of business and person in the United States. A bespoke item with virtually endless combinations, bank notes encouraged their users to examine closely the paper in their hands to determine value from the valueless and relied on fine art engravers to present a reassuring and excellently crafted image on paper. Through this most common item, Dr. Lett will show how Americans learned to appreciate art. 

Dr. Amanda Lett is the Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at The Rockwell Museum. Prior to her arrival this summer, she was the Curatorial Assistant in American Paintings and Sculpture at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and has also served as the Chief Registrar at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 2019, she successfully defended her dissertation, “Valuable Paper and Counterfeit Presentiments: Alfred Jones, the American Art-Union, and Antebellum Bank Note Engraving,” at Boston University, which includes the chapter she is presenting this evening. She lives with her husband Philip and her two cats in Corning, NY. 

Members-Only Post-Lecture Reception 

Rockwell Members are invited to join us for a post-lecture reception on the Museum’s second floor. Mingle with fellow members and meet our new Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, Amanda Lett. 

Not a Rockwell Member? Join now to enjoy unique opportunities like this! Interested in learning more about membership and future events? Email 

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