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Who put the curved perspective on the old $10 bill in 1927?


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I am an artist looking for the currency designer who put curved perspective on the $10 bill, before the big heads came. That classic oblique view of the Treasury, designed in the 20's, appears at first glance to be done in standard Renaissance-style linear perspective. Indeed the building looks impressively strait and orderly. But the more I looked, the more I realized that way down the street in the back of the scene, the designer starts to bend the space towards the horizon, not too noticeably, but if one drew a line to map the general trajectory of the street, you would see that the buildings and trees start to pitch to the right. The same is true of the foreground. At first glance, it looks like linear perspective, but the curb bulges and curves ever so slightly. And while some people wondered whether bonnie and Clyde were in the foreground car (certainly not) or whether it was a Model-T (not true- See quote below from the BEP), I saw that the trajectory of the car is also noticabley arcing off of strait. A lot of artists use curved perspective without even realizing it or knowing why. I am writing a paper on the subject, and when I saw curved perpsective on my money, I needed to find out more!


Thanks in advance for your time and collected wisdom,


Steve Zolin



"The engraved die of the Treasury Building vignette was completed in the early part of December 1927. The

engraver was Louis S. Schofield. There are four cars included in this vignette. These cars are of no specific

make or model and each one is a creation of the designer who prepared the original model which was later used

by Mr. Schofield when he made the original hand-engraved die of this vignette.


It would not be possible to have specific makes of automobiles engraved on the Treasury vignette for the $10 bill, which would be a composite model, without making it appear that we were sponsoring the product of one or another automobile manufacturer. Legal requirements will not permit a government agency to indicate its

endorsement of a commercial firm or product. The four automobiles engraved into this design are similar in

appearance to various models of cars being manufactured at that time. However, again, the cars in the design

are of no specific make or model."


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As far as I am aware, it would have been the engraver who would have added that perspective. I am not aware of who may have came up with the original idea or if the curved perspective was a part of the original artwork or not. If you find out let us know.

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