Women in Power: Coins from the Barber Collection

22 June 2024 - 26 January 2025

Exploration of powerful women on coins, revealing historical distortions and gender representation.

Spanning almost 2,000 years and over 2,500 miles, this exhibition delves into the historical depiction of women on coins from London to Ctesiphon (present-day Baghdad), showcasing gender-fluid deities from 3rd-century BC to Elizabeth II in 2022. The exhibition highlights female rulers, leaders, and icons whose narratives have been distorted or marginalised across centuries.

Coins represent power and propaganda, conveying economic and diplomatic influence while artistically depicting political, social, and religious power dynamics. These tiny relics encapsulate history, reflecting how influential figures, irrespective of gender, sought to express their authority. Yet, historical accounts often undermined women's roles, oversimplifying their significance, making this exhibition a vital exploration into gender representation in numismatic art.

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Barber Institute of Fine Arts

University Of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands, B15 2TS
01214 147333

Free to all

Opening times

With our galleries currently closed for essential building work, we look forward to reopening on Saturday 22nd June 2024 to the public. Find out more about our upcoming exhibitions here on our website.

Exclusions and safety measures




Please check our website.

Visitor information

IndividualTiana Clarke Please note this is an example card and not a reflection of the final product

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