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A Handheld History:

Five Centuries of Medals from the Molinari Collection at Bowdoin College

What does it mean to collect and study medals? What lessons might be gleaned from these intimately scaled, but finely detailed works of art? For the first time since 1976, the celebrated Molinari Collection, given to the College by Amanda Marchesa Molinari in memory of her husband, Cesare Molinari d’Incisa, is the subject of a dedicated exhibition. Curated by Amber Orosco ’19, Stephen Pastoriza ’19, and Benjamin Wu ’18, this 2018 installation provided an overview of the aesthetic, historical, and political significance of medallic art from the fifteenth to the twentieth century. Donated over fifty years ago, the Molinari Collection, selected highlights from which appear here, together with complementary works, includes an exceptional library reflecting the evolution of numismatic scholarship from the sixteenth century to the present. We invite you to enjoy the enduring power of these works of art—the size and reproducibility of which have helped contribute to a remarkable reach across time and place—to convey erudition, intellectual achievement, personal virtue, and political might, all within the palm of your hand.

View the Online Catalogue