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Boston Museum of Fine Arts Gallery of Ancient Greek & Roman Coins


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BOSTON, MASS.- —Five hundred ancient Greek and Roman coins from the world-renowned collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, are showcased in the new Michael C. Ruettgers Gallery for Ancient Coins. It is the only gallery dedicated to coinage in a major US art museum and is unique for its emphasis on ancient coins as works of art—masterpieces on a miniature scale. The gallery also illustrates how coins are both a form of cultural expression—reflecting the customs, beliefs, and ideals of those who produced and used them—and primary documents of ancient history. It is named in recognition of Michael C. Ruettgers, whose generosity has made possible the creation of this spectacular new gallery. In addition, Mr. Ruettgers has given 14 rare and important Roman gold coins to the MFA, including Aureus with the bust of Aelius Verus (AD 137).


To enhance visitors’ appreciation of these works, moveable magnifying lenses facilitate closer examination of the coins on view in several cases. In addition, by using iPads affixed to five cases running down the center of the gallery, visitors are able to explore in-depth 274 Greek and Roman coins using the new MFA Coins application developed by the MFA. It allows users to view both sides of each coin, to zoom in, and learn more about the significance of these objects. The app includes highlights of the coin collection, information about Greek and Roman coins, and a timeline of ancient coins. The iPad app is available for free download from Apple’s App Store, or by clicking on a link to the App Store on the new page for the Michael C. Ruettgers Gallery for Ancient Coins on the Museum’s website http://www.mfa.org/a...t-coins-gallery. Also in the gallery is a touchscreen where visitors can create their own coins—choosing symbols, motto, and metal—and learn the elements of a coin by designing one.

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