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Tim Prusmack
Born 1962 (1962)
United States
Died 2004 (2005)
Nationality United States
Field Drawing

Tim Prusmack (1962-2004) was an American artist. He specialized in pen-and-ink drawings of U.S. currency.


As a young child Tim Prusmack started coin collecting and his skill in art and love of history fused perfectly in his "money art". Before starting a piece of money art, Prusmack would study the portraits of the people he would draw and read about their lives extensively. He claimed this gave him "insight into their point of view" and assisted Prusmack in drawing "the look in their eyes". For some of his money art, his method involved drawing at three or four times actual size and then making prints both at reduced (correct) size, as well as other scales, including mural-sized enlargements.

His art work was so unique that it earned him the title of the "Mozart of Money Art". Several bank notes that were privately commissioned by such countries as Ireland (i.e. the beautiful "Irish Note")are not available in this country. One piece of art took him weeks and even months of intensive work in which he drove himself for perfection.

Since the reproduction of currency is not looked upon favourably by the Secret Service, artists have often been mistaken for counterfeiters, despite the clear differences in intent. Prusmack had a policy of sending a copy of each of his works to the U.S. Bureau of Printing and Engraving as well as the U.S. Mint office; he earned many friends there including Mary Ellen Withrow, the U.S. Treasurer.

Death and legacy

Just before his untimely death, Prusmack was wanted for the coveted and unique position as a money designer for the U.S. Bureau of Printing and Engraving. Just before the surgery that ultimately took his life, he eagerly looked forward to this role. Prusmack's legacy to the art world and numismatic world is unique. In addition, Prusmack created beautiful cover art and posters for many numismatic organization. He supported youth in numismatic activities.

Prusmack's bills ranged from perfect copies of extant designs (mostly from the 19th century) to fantasy notes that were done in the Bureau of Engraving and Printing style. An example of the latter is a 500 dollar bill done in a similar manner to the modern (series of 1996) 5 to 100.

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