Confederate Currency: The Color of Money

Illustration of slavery in the southern states

Confederate Currency: The Color of Money

Depictions of Slavery in Confederate and Southern States’ Currency (February 6–April 20, 2006)

We can learn about the history and culture of a country by looking at the images displayed on its currency. The images may depict the country’s achievements, important people, or historical events. This featured exhibition presents confederate and southern states’ currency and paintings that enlarge the currencies’ vignettes depicting images of slavery – a significant part of U.S. history.

“Confederate Currency: The Color of Money” examines the prevalence of free labor provided by enslaved Africans and African Americans to the southern economy during the antebellum period. This exhibition of original acrylic on canvas paintings by John W. Jones is based on images or vignettes of African Americans. It was organized as a traveling exhibition in 2001 by the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture. It has been seen in 15 cities and has received critical acclaim.

confederate money

A freelance artist and illustrator for more than 20 years, artist John W. Jones explores life through art. Striving for detail in light and reflection, he draws each painting first, and then layers it with color, resulting in realistic interpretations of everyday life and landscapes.

For more detailed information on the exhibit, visit