FY 2014 Annual Report
Thank you to Donors
FY 2014 Annual Report
Thank you to Donors
Dear Members of the Society,
The American Numismatic Society is looking back at a year, which has brought about much change in our staff structure but an equal amount of success in many of our different projects that we have started over the last few years. Let me start my report by thanking all our very generous donors, who have made significant contributions this year. Our donations continue to be strong, and in particular our board of Trustees have been very generous in their giving. I am particularly pleased to announce that we have been very fortunate to have received some seed money towards a curatorship in European numismatics, which will cover the Medieval and early Modern period. Our most sincere thanks are due to our member Dr. Howard Minners for his generous pledge of $100,000, which is being matched by another ANS member. To date the fund has $140,000. It is crucial for the ANS to raise more money for its daily operations, and we are looking forward to beginning a small campaign next year.
What has preoccupied us this year, in particular the second half, is the loss of some key staff. Our much beloved Librarian, Elizabeth Hahn Benge, left the ANS for Chicago, where she is now the Collections and Exhibitions Manager at the Art Institute of Chicago in the Department of Ancient and Byzantine Art. Her reorganization of the Harry W. Bass Jr. Library is an extraordinary achievement. Under her tenure, the ANS secured several grants to undertake a variety of projects, and the Library is now in a better state than it has been in a long time.
In the curatorial department, Sylvia Karges left the ANS, as funding for her position as curatorial assistant run out after seven years in this position. She was responsible for many important cataloguing projects in our institutions. She is now finishing her PhD thesis on anti-Semitism on coins and medals. Just before our annual meeting, Viviana Londono-Danailov, who had been the membership assistant for the last two years, took up a new position at the Queen’s Library. Anna Chang, our Director of Finance and Administration, retired after almost seven years at the ANS. As Executive Director, I am very sorry to loose so many member of a great team.
The person that I am going to miss most is my deputy, Dr. Andrew Meadows, who took up a position as Fellow at New College, Oxford, where he will be teaching ancient history. For the ANS, the staff and me personally, this is a great loss, as Andy is a wonderful colleague, who has helped build the ANS into the organization which it is today. When he first arrived in 2007, he was thrown in the midst of organizing the Society’s building project and move to our current headquarters, which resulted in the ANS moving its entire numismatic collection in a single day. Subsequently, Andy took over the ANS publications, which had been somewhat languishing, and turned them into one of the best academic programs in numismatics. Over the last few years, digitization and the website have been a major focus of Andy’s work; under his leadership, MANTIS, DONUM and ARCHER were launched, which now provide cutting-edge access to our various collections. What is remarkable about Andy’s work is his hands-on approach to all projects, which involves endless hours of editing at night, on airplanes or whenever he finds a free moment. On top of all his ANS work, Andy Meadows finished his dissertation of the Greek mint of Alabanda, edited Coin Hoards XI, and published dozens of articles. The ANS is very lucky that he has agreed to remain the Editor of the American Journal of Numismatics. He has also been nominated as an ANS Trustee, which will keep him closely involved with our many activities.
For me personally, I shall miss a colleague and good friend with whom I have worked for many years at the ANS and previously at the British Museum, where we were both Curators of Greek Coins (yes, there were two of us at the same time!).
While loosing staff is always sad, it is very exciting to see fresh blood join our small organization. Early this year, we were very fortunate to hire Dr. Matthew Wittmann as Assistant Curator of American Coins and Currency. Matt holds a PhD from the University of Michigan and is, at his young age, a well respected specialist on the history of the American circus. He is keenly interested in American currency and will dedicate his efforts towards exploring this part of the ANS collections. He is currently on leave in Sydney, Australia, but will return to his position in February 2015. Ms. Natalie Jordan, who comes with an impressive resume in the non-for-profit field, has joined the Society as Director of Finance and Administration.
Replacing Andy Meadows represents a considerable challenge, as he was able to work in such a variety of positions. I am all the more pleased to report that Andrew Reinhard was appointed as Director of Publications. He comes to the American Numismatic Society directly from the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) where he served as their Director of Publications. On 1 December 2014, he will begin overseeing all print and digital publications, including the management of the various ANS databases and websites. At the ASCSA, he transformed their print publications into eBooks and interactive apps, introduced e-only subscriptions, and championed Open Access efforts to offer out-of-print titles to readers at no charge. Prior to joining the ASCSA, he was Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers’ Director of eLearning, creating online learning tools for ancient Greek and Latin. He began his career at Willoughby Associates as their Director of Client Services which included supporting a network of over 800 international museums using Oracle- and Access-based collections management systems and integrated Web search tools. An archaeologist by way of the University of Missouri-Columbia (M.A.) and the University of Evansville (B.A.), he has worked at the Museum of Art and Archaeology (Columbia) and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and has excavated in Greece, Italy, Kansas, and Illinois. Andrew most recently led a team of “Punk Archaeologists” as they dug the now infamous “Atari Burial Ground” in Alamogordo, New Mexico, uncovering thousands of games while being filmed for a documentary. He has written about the excavation for The Atlantic and for Archaeology magazine. In his spare time Andrew blogs about the intersection of archaeology and video games at archaeogaming.wordpress.com, and is planning a series of posts on currency and commerce in online gaming environments.
I can also report that we have just appointed Mr. David Hill as our new Francis D. Campbell Librarian. David was selected from almost 45 applications for this position. He is of course well-known in the ANS as Archivist, a part-time position he has occupied for the last five years. He holds a BA from the State University at Binghampton, a MA and an MLS in American History from the State University at Albany. He has worked as a librarian for almost 20 years, and at the ANS, he has put the archival holdings into ARCHER, which now serves as a major research tool in our field.
The ANS Team
I have taken some time to go over our staff changes, because it is our small team, which works so hard to carry out the mission of the Society.
So what it is we did this year: Our staff participated, and contributed in numerous lectures and symposia. There are new publications, awards, and an important grant. Some of the highlights include:
On January 9 we held our 2014 Annual Dinner Gala at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. The event honored Marian Scheuer Sofaer and the Honorable Abraham D. Sofaer, whose uncommon generosity to the ANS has spanned more than four decades, most recently with the donation of part of their extraordinary collection of over 5,000 coins from the Holy Land. This collection creates a lasting legacy, enabling scholars in archeology, history, and numismatics to pursue world-class research for many years to come.Some 200 guests and contributors helped the Society raise more than $200,000 including a very successful auction that accounted for $36,000.
Both Marian and Abe’s many non-numismatic achievements are numerous. Among other positions Marian has served as a New York State Assistant Attorney General and a New York City Assistant Corporation Counsel. She was also the co-producer of the award-winning documentary Poumy, a film about a young woman’s role in the French Resistance during World War II, the project director for an historical exhibition in the synagogue in Chendamangalam, India, and an adviser to Kerala conservationists on the restoration of the synagogue at Parur. Also, she is CEO, General Counsel and co-founder of Federal Arbitration, Inc., an organization providing high quality arbitration and mediation of civil disputes. Abe, meanwhile, has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in New York, a U.S. District Judge in the Southern District, and Legal Advisor to the U.S. Department of State, as well as teaching at Columbia Law School. Currently he is the George P. Shultz Distinguished Scholar and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, where his work focuses on the power over war within the US government and on issues related to international law, terrorism, diplomacy, and national security. Rounding out his activities, he is also a founding trustee of the National Museum of Jazz in Harlem and a member of the board of the Koret Foundation.
In presenting the Trustees’ award to the Sofaers, ANS Chairman Kenneth L. Edlow could not help being expansive. Marian Scheuer Sofaer and Abraham D. Sofaer have earned a place among the great benefactors of the American Numismatic Society, he said emphatically. Their extraordinary decision to donate their collection to the Israel Museum and the American Numismatic Society ensures them a place among the most generous donors to these collections. He went on to trace the resonant, near Biblical proportions of their four-decade-long collecting, and noted how the Sofaers have for so long fully embraced the concept of academic research. Abe’s first coin purchase was a shekel of the first year of Jewish Revolt against Rome in 66 CE he recounted.Soon thereafter, Abe realized that coinage provided a unique opportunity to explore the rich cultural history of the Holy Land’s many countries. He and Marian set out to create a collection that bears witness to the constant cultural and political change that has characterized the region.
Last year saw a culmination of that effort with the publication by the ANS of the monumental, two-volume catalog of the Sofaer collection, edited by Adjunct Curator David Hendin and Deputy Director Andrew Meadows, a collection that now physically charts the ebb and flow of culture across a span of nearly two millennia. And Mr. Edlow thought it fitting to quote from Abe Sofaer’s introduction to that catalog, by way of explaining what drives the passion of so many of us and makes the contemplation and study of these old objects so compelling: The Holy Land Mr. Sofaer wrote, is important to many peoples in addition to the Jews; and every effort by one cultural group to dominate the area to the exclusion of others eventually failed. A stable future for the Holy Land requires a commitment by all groups in the area to maintain multi-cultural populations and tolerant regimes.
We thank all the Gala participants and guests whose generosity and enthusiasm made the evening such a stunning success, and especially acknowledge the sponsors and other donors and supporters whose dedication has done so much to guarantee the financial health of the Society. The ANS Gala was sponsored by 14 Benefactor, Patron, Sustainer, and Friend sponsors, and by over 50 other donors and supporters.
We really could not exist were it not for the tremendous contributions of our donors. Among them, of course, are our honorees, Marian and Abe Sofaer, and I am thrilled that the 2014 Gala had such a wonderful outcome, from every perspective.”
The Huntington Award is conferred annually in honor of the late Archer M. Huntington, in recognition of outstanding career contributions to numismatic scholarship. The medal was designed in 1908 by Emil Fuchs to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the ANS
On Saturday, April 26, John W. Adams received the American Numismatic Society’s 2014 Archer M. Huntington Award for excellence in numismatic scholarship. ANS Chairman Kenneth Edlow and I had the honor of presenting the award at the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston, where Mr. Adams delivered the Silvia Mani Hurter Memorial Lecture, A Recidivist Collector, to an enthusiastic audience of over 70 friends and family. The lecture will be printed in a forthcoming issue of the ANS Magazine.
Mr. Adams has a long record of scholarship and publication. In the past 15 years he has focused his research primarily on European and American medals, and his books during that period range from The Indian Peace Medals of George III, or, His Majesty’s Sometime Allies (1999) to Medallic Portraits of Admiral Vernon: Medals Sometimes Lie (2010), written with Fernando Chao, in collaboration with Anne Bentley. In describing this year’s award recipient, the Society’s Huntington Committee Chairman, Dr. Jere Bacharach, said, “What distinguishes John Adams from other writers is his passion for history, a beautiful, academically correct writing style, and diligence in seeking out overlooked historical and numismatic sources.”
Coinage made of electrum, the alloy of gold and silver, stands at the very beginning of the numismatic history of the western world. The earliest electrum coins have long puzzled historians and numismatists alike. What are they made of, and how? When were they made, and why? What can they tell us about the economy and society of the people who produced them? Recent work by archaeologists, numismatists, scientists, historians and economists has thrown remarkable new light on these old problems.
This symposium offered members and others interested in early electrum coinage to learn more about some of these new discoveries. Papers by international experts in the field covered a variety of aspects. These included a discussion by the excavator of the Archaic Artemisium at Ephesus of the archaeological finds and their impact on the dating of electrum coinage; a presentation on the chemical analysis of over 100 coins from the cabinet of the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris and the American Numismatic Society. These analyses, carried out at Centre Ernest-Babelon in Orléans and at the Field Museum in Chicago using microsampling by laser ablation, have enabled us to see more accurately than ever before the composition of the first coins. The question of why, how and when electrum was used for the first known coins was at the center of the discussion by a series of eminent historians economists and numismatists. The symposium concluded with discussion to which all attendees were invited to contribute.
The symposium was accompanied by a display of electrum coins from the ANS cabinet. Coins from the ANS collection were also available for examination.
The Mark M. Salton Memorial Lecture on Byzantine Gold and the Economy of the Empire was given at the ANS on May 7 by Dr. Cécile Morrisson, Director of Research Emeritus at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (National Center for Scientific Research), Paris, and Advisor for Byzantine Numismatics, Dumbarton Oaks. Dr. Morrisson has written extensively on Byzantine coins and monetary history. We thank sponsors for their support of this lecture.
On February 20th, 2014 Pawel Leski’ received the Society’s 2014 J. Sanford Saltus Award for distinguished achievement in the art of the medal. Established in 1913, the Saltus Award remains one of the most prestigious and coveted awards in the field of medallic art, presented to artists who have produced an exemplary and influential body of work. Limited initially to artists based in the United States, since 1985 the award has been open to international competition.
Born in 1954, Mr. Leski first studied architecture at Cracow Polytechnic, before leaving his native Poland for Vienna to learn the art of medal making. When he returned to Poland in 1976, he concentrated his efforts on sculpture under Prof. G. Zelmy at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. In the ensuing decades, Mr. Leski has produced a substantial body of work that includes scores of medals and plaques, along with sculpture. While much of his work borders on abstraction, the figure, both human and animal, nonetheless plays a key and evocative role, and Mr. Leski skillfully uses both the shape and the surface of the medal to help elicit a deep emotional response to the subject portrayed.
Over the years Mr. Leski has received numerous awards for his work. The Society’s Board of Trustees is delighted to add to the accolades by bestowing the 2014 Saltus Award on this deserving artist.
A reception and the Award ceremony was ollowed by a panel discussion with Mashiko Nakashima, Stephen K. Scher and Peter van Alfen. They discussed the history of the Saltus Award, the development of medallic art, contemporary Polish medallic art and Pawel Leski’s place within in it.
On November 20, 2013 Amelia Dowler Curator of Greek and Roman Provincial Coins at The British Museum presented the Harry W. Fowler Memorial Lecture Authenticated Accounts? Discoveries of Greek and Roman Provincial Coins in Great Britain
In June 2014 was the 6th Annual Sage Society trip. Members of the Augustus B. Sage Society had the opportunity to travel to Rome where they visited four important coin cabinets as well as archaeological sites, churches and museums. By all accounts, it was one of the highlights of the year for Sage members, a trip that combined seeing some of Europe’s most stunning coin collections with the joy of relaxed travel in beautiful surroundings among friends.
This year we saw the arrival of: Wampum and the Origins of American Money by Marc Shell. Published by University of Illinois Press in association with the American Numismatic Society.
The Island Standard: The Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman Coinages of Paros by John A N Z Tully, came out this past spring, The book is the first comprehensive study of the monetary history of one of the major coin-producing states of the Hellenistic and Roman Aegean. It analyzes the Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman coinages of the Cycladic island of Paros.
European Medals in the Chazen Museum of Art: Highlights from the Vernon Hall Collection and Later Acquisitions, Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the American Numismastic Society. Introductory Essay by Stephen K. Scher, with Contributors: Philip Attwood, Arne R. Flaten, Mark Jones, Douglas Lewis, Eleonora Luciano, Joseph G. Reinis, Stephen K. Scher, Jeffrey Chipps Smith, Louis A. Waldman. Edited by Maria F.P. Saffiotti Dale.
The quarterly ANS Magazine (edited by Dr. van Alfen), the thrice yearly Colonial Newsletter (under Oliver Hoover) and the annual American Journal of Numismatics (edited by Andrew Meadows and Mr. Hoover) continued on schedule.
Again this year several of our publications, members, and published authors were among this year’s recipients of the 2014 Annual Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) Writers’ Award winners including:
Best Specialized Books - United States Coins: ‘’New Jersey State Coppers’’, by Roger S. Siboni, John L. Howes, and A. Buell Ish, and
Best Specialized Books - World Coins: ‘’The Island Standard’’, by John A. N. Z. Tully
Extraordinary Merit went to ‘’From Crime to Punishment – Counterfeit and Debased Currencies in Colonial and Pre-Federal America’’, by Philip L. Mossman
Best Issue World Numismatic Magazines - Large Publications went to the ANS Magazine, 2013 Issue 4, Peter van Alfen, Editor
Computer Software And Internet Web Sites - Best Non-Trade Press Web Site was award to American Numismatic Society
The Clement F. Bailey Memorial Award, for Best New Writer went to Daniel Wolf, for his article “A Metrological Survey of Ptolemaic Bronze Coins” in ‘’AJN’’ no. 25.
After two decades of applications, the Society received a Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Award from the National Endowment for the Humanities. We believe this award acknowledges the work we have been doing for some years now in establishing our online presence. The grant allows the Society to fully implement the Online Coins of the Roman Empire (OCRE) project, which will provide a complete online reference to the whole of Roman Imperial Coinage. The grant, worth $300,000 over three years, will enable the ANS to digitize its entire collection of Roman Imperial coins, standardize its cataloguing, and contribute all of the data to the OCRE project.
Art of Devastation
As part of its commemoration of the centennial of the First World War, the ANS launched this fascinating new web-based research catalogue of the thousands of art medals, commemorative medals, and tokens produced in response to this major conflict.
Recorded ANS Lectures
This year the ANS began to make recorded lectures available online to members. Among the events distant members were able to attend virtually were the Salton Memorial Lecture, Byzantine Gold and the Economy of the Empire,by Dr. Cecile Morrisson; The Island Standard: the Coinage of Paros in its Island Context, by John ANZ Tully; and From Alexander to Cleopatra: the Coins of Egypt, by Dr. Thomas Faucher.
Edward Newell’s Notebooks Online
These notebooks are being made available online through our ARCHER archives database. The system allows us to link Newell’s handwritten notes to data in various online systems. Coins listed in two of the most important of the notebooks, those containing Newell’s data on hoards, have now been published online.
The newly revised ANS collection database is now up and running. The new version allows users to access over 600,000 records, and results can be illustrated on maps, in spreadsheets, and charts. (You can discover what is new in your areas of interest by going to http://numismatics.org/search/.
This year in September we celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the ANS’s hiring of our Collections Manager, Dr. Elena Stolyarik. She is truly the keeper of the ANS cabinet. She organized the incredible task of the move of our collection, not once, but twice in five year. She oversees the accessioning and cataloging of new acquisitions, handles requests for loans from the ANS to other museums and institutions, is the strict photography rights and reproduction Czar, and writes about the ANS collection in her column in the quarterly ‘’’ANS Magazine’’’.
Elena Stolyarik is a numismatist specializing in the coinages of the Black Sea region. She received her B.A. in History from Odessa State University. In 1988 she received her doctorate from Moscow State University with a thesis entitled Monetary Circulation in the North-Western Black Sea Region in the Late Roman and Byzantine periods. After her studies, she served as a Chief of the Numismatic Department of the Odessa Archaeological Museum of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. Upon coming to the United States, Dr. Stolyarik worked as a research associate at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia, where she re-examined the entire collection of coins for a new permanent exhibit in the Classical Gallery. Dr. Stolyarik is the author of numerous articles and a monograph related mainly to Greek, Scythian, Late Roman and Byzantine coinage in the Black Sea region.
Ute Wartenberg Kagan