As part of the 2023 Sundman Lecture Series symposium at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money, Dennis Tucker will present “Changing German National Identity in Royal and Imperial Medallic Sculpture.” The presentation is scheduled for Wednesday, August 9, at 10:00 a.m. in room 330 of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.
The theme of the 2023 Sundman Lecture Series is “The Numismatics of Nation Building; Money, Medals, Tokens and National Identity.” The program’s four lectures focus on “how coinage, paper currency, medals, and tokens have been used to create, record, and/or modify national identity since the ancient Greeks used their money to announce the creation of new states, a phenomenon which continues to this day wherever new nations appear.”
Tucker’s lecture hinges on the assertion, in Otto von Bismarck’s memoirs, that “German patriotism, to be active and effective, needs as a rule to be dependent upon a dynasty. . . . The German’s love of the fatherland needs a prince on whom he can concentrate his attachment.” Bismarck wrote this after successfully transforming the most powerful German monarch into a new German emperor, a nineteenth-century Charlemagne.
Bismarck and the German people had their prince in the person of Wilhelm, king of Prussia, whose dynasty was the old Hohenzollern line of Teutonic dukes, electors, and kings.
Through the 1800s and into the early 1900s, thousands of different medals were designed, minted, and distributed to celebrate the German royal and imperial families. What do these regal portraits tell us about Germany and the German people? And as the Empire began to fall apart during World War I, how did those messages change?
Award-winning researcher and writer Dennis Tucker will share images from his personal collection and other historical archives in this richly illustrated lecture.
Tucker is a life member of the ANA, secretary pro tem of the Rittenhouse Society, a fellow of the Academy of Political Science, and a past governor of the Token and Medal Society. His book American Gold and Silver: U.S. Mint Collector and Investor Coins and Medals, Bicentennial to Date won an “Extraordinary Merit” award from the Numismatic Literary Guild. As publisher at Whitman Publishing since 2004, he has worked on hundreds of books on numismatics, military history, and other nonfiction subjects. Since 2016 he has served the U.S. Treasury Department as the numismatic specialist of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.