2 ancient coins. Left: Coin of China of the Northern Song Dynasty, 1102-1106 CE. Right: Zusim of Judaea, 134-135 CE. 3 ancient coins. Left: Coin of China of the Northern Song Dynasty, 1102-1106 CE. Center: Solidus of the Byzantine Empire, 602-610 CE. Right: Zusim of Judaea, 134-135 CE.

Crossing Borders: Coins from around the World

Greek and Roman coinage occupy a unique place within ancient Mediterranean material culture. The economic function of coinage necessitated millions of specimens, all of which had to be easily recognizable and conform to a standard weight. These specifications were met through a production technique that created seemingly identical items in great quantities and in a short period of time. Blank pieces of gold, silver, or bronze were struck with a hammer to create impressions from a set of dies that resulted in images, called types, on both sides of the coin.

Crossing Borders examines numismatic connections across time and place and presents similarities in materiality, design, and style that derive from the specific needs of coinage. This display invites you to focus on the practical and aesthetic considerations made by the coin’s issuing authority.

See the detailed object and coin list.

View some of the items on display in 3D:

3D imaging courtesy of Serena Walk from McMaster Sari-Sari Xchange: Building Asian Diasporic Community Through Emergent Media.

Header Image
Left: Coin of China of the Northern Song Dynasty, 1102-1106 CE. Gift of Stanley Clute, 1990.
Center: Solidus of the Byzantine Empire, 602-610 CE. Museum purchase, 2003.
Right: Zusim of Judaea, 134-135 CE. Gift of Bruce R. Brace, 2007.

Curated by: Dr. Spencer Pope, McMaster University, Department of Greek and Roman Studies, with Cassius Di Maria, Maia Fiorelli, Chris He, Tommy Tripp, and Marshall Zuckerman

May 02, 2023 – April 30, 2024

Link to Exhibitions Archive for a complete list of past exhibitions


Artist Mike MacDonald in Gage Park, photo captured by Dianne Bos.

Lisa Myers: Finding what Grows

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The SUMMA 2023 logo is an overlapping triple diamond design, featuring shapes coloured in gradient from red to yellow, purple to pink, and green to blue. The logo is suspended in the centre of a background consisting of a pink and blue swirling gradient.

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nichola feldman-kiss / refuge (SIREN)

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A black, cone shaped piece of earthen material floating against a black background

Chris Myhr: Salients

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Artwork by Shake n Make and Adriana Kupier against a white background


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Black and white photo collage of the artist collective The Contemporaries

The Contemporaries: This Must Be The Place

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Grey scale image of a shadow of a person inside a geometric, 3d constructed space

The Haunted Scanner

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Triptych by Jason Baerg

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To promote and stimulate learning, interest and continued enjoyment about the visual arts, the Museum will organize an annual programme of temporary exhibitions for presentation year round.

Exhibition proposals/submissions are accepted on an on-going basis.

The Director/Curator will select and establish the annual exhibition programme in collaboration with the curatorial team. An exhibition schedule will be presented by the Director/Curator to the Advisory Board of the Museum once each year


Proposals are accepted from artists and curators.


10-20 digital images, project description, and CV.

View digital image requirements


Carol Podedworny, Director and Curator
McMaster Museum of Art
University Ave, McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L6


The McMaster Museum of Art is a third party recommender for Ontario Arts Council (OAC) Exhibition Assistance Grants.

The 2023-24 Exhibition Assistance Program opens on June 7, 2023, and closes on January 16, 2024. Our deadlines for the programming year are:

  • September 7, 2023, 1 p.m. ET
  • December 7, 2023, 1 p.m. ET


Please follow the guidelines established by the Ontario Arts Council, apply directly through their website, and submit the following with your applications:

Brief artist statement
Confirmation letter from the gallery/museum/venue
Digital images of work