Alison Bremner’s sculptural work, Two Dollars, slyly plays on the concepts of money and exchange. This small work, only 2 × 1.5 inches, emulates the shape of large copper shields which served as status objects among the Tlingit and other Northwest coast communities, displayed during potlatches to demonstrate wealth. (View an example on our website). Bremner also represents wealth through the display of money in a series she calls Potlatch Dollars: miniature copper shields with images of American currency printed on their surfaces. For this particular work, her choice of the rare two-dollar bill raises questions about how we assign value. As a currency denomination, it has never really been broadly used or widely circulated. While it has become a collectable item, it is unusual enough to be seen as fake or fraudulent in usage. Its value depends upon your perspective.
—Kathleen Ash-Milby, Curator of Native American Art
Alison Bremner (American and Tlingit, born 1989), Two Dollars, 2014. Resin and paper on copper. Museum Purchase: Funds provided by bequest of Elizabeth Cole Butler by exchange, 2014.149.1 © Alison Bremner