The significance of animals in the ancient and the modern world is evident on our money. This intricate relationship and sacred connection between humans and animals is explored in the Money Zoo: Fantastic Beasts in the History of Money exhibition, which highlights examples of animals depicted on our past and present currencies and the historical use of animals as money. The exhibition aims to raise awareness of our complex bond and dependence on these fantastic creatures, and their place in the modern world.

Curated by Marina Fischer and Carolyn Willekes from the Numismatic Collection of Nickle Galleries.

Dr. Carolyn Willekes is an Assistant Professor in the Department of General Education at Mount Royal University. She received her PhD from the Department of Greek and Roman Studies at the University of Calgary. Her research focuses primarily on equines in the ancient Mediterranean world, but she also has an interest in the broader cultural perspectives of animals and the human-animal relationship.

Marina Fischer is Collections Specialist, Numismatics, Nickle Galleries, University of Calgary.

Watch Marina Fischer’s February 24, 2022 Nickle at Noon talk about the exhibition, here.

Other related Nickle at Noon talks include Carolyn Willekes January 27, 2022,  Here be Unicorns:  From Tooth to Treasure, and George Colpitts, February 2, 2022 Nickle at Noon, Beaver Money.

A virtual version of the exhibition can be found here.