dano wall

Art that directly responds to issues … yes, yes, a thousand times, YES. After being enraged that the plan to put Harriet Tubman – a hero of the underground railroad – on the American $20 bill was basically ditched by the current administration, Dano Wall took it upon himself to give Harriet her place on that bill. A stamp! Now, I know what you’re thinking… can you deface {pun totally intended} currency? Well, “Though anti-counterfeiting laws prohibit the willful destruction of, and stamping of advertisements upon, paper money, pursuant to I.I.18 U.S.C. § 333 of the United States Code, stamped currency is fit for circulation so long as its denomination remains legible.” Boom! Here is Dano’s statement about this project:

“On April 20, 2016, then-U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced plans to add Tubman to the front of the twenty-dollar bill, moving President Andrew Jackson to the rear of the bill. Lew instructed the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to expedite the redesign process, and the new bill was expected 

I was equal parts saddened and enraged when I learned that the Trump administration had officially scuttled the plan to put Harriet Tubman on the $20. The ubiquity of currency makes it a powerful vector through which the mentality of white supremacy can continue to permeate our culture. This is why it was such a pivotal moment when it was announced that Harriet Tubman would appear on the new $20 bill. This would constitute a monumental symbolic change, disrupting the pattern of white men who appear on our money, and by putting her on the most popular note in circulation, indicate exactly what kind of a life we choose to hold up; what values we most hope to emulate.

The impact that seeing the face of Harriet Tubman staring back at you from a $20 bill cannot be underestimated. Who we choose to honor as a society affects the moral attitudes that are baked into us as we grow up, and this sort of representation can subtly but deeply effect someone’s conception of themselves and their place within society. This is not a trivial issue to be forgotten, it remains profoundly significant, and worthy of continually pushing back into the spotlight.

I would like to see Tubman $20s entering circulation is sufficient numbers to make it impossible to avoid the conversation about the proposed, now abandoned, plan to put Harriet Tubman on the $20, and hopefully, ultimately, exert pressure on those with the power to make that change.” 

Inspiring, clever, and oh so proactive. The stamp can be found through Dano’s online shop, “Tubman Stamp” – however, it’s pretty much out of stock constantly! Keep checking though, because he restocks the site weekly.

comments (4)

  1. Bradford /// 06.18.2019 /// 8:36am


  2. the jealous curator /// 06.18.2019 /// 10:17am

    me tooooooooo!

  3. Sharmon Davidson /// 06.18.2019 /// 10:30am

    Wow – what a great idea!!!

  4. shilla /// 06.18.2019 /// 1:05pm

    This is AMAZING!!!!!!