From the Executive Director (Spring 2004)

by Ute Wartenberg Kagan

Dear Members and Friends,

I am delighted to report to you today that the ANS will be finally moving to its new headquarters in downtown Manhattan. At its recent Council meeting, we were told by John Whitney Walter, who oversees the renovation and the move of the collections, that the building will indeed be ready for occupation in the autumn. We have therefore decided to close the ANS as of July 6 to prepare the move and put our house in order. Anyone who has ever visited us at Audubon Terrace knows how much we will have to move. There are not just the almost one million coins and over 100,000 books, but also our Society’s archives, including the photography archive consisting of thousands of slides and even old glass plates! Then there is much treasured furniture, paintings of numismatists, our current publications and much more. It is quite a daunting task to sort all this out for the move, as our Collections Manager, Elena Stolyarik, illustrates in her article on the preparations for moving just the coins. Although the next few months will be hard for the staff, we are all very excited by the fact that 140 William Street will soon be our new home.

News of the move is not all we offer in this issue, however. I hope that many of you will enjoy Peter van Alfen’s article on New York monuments created by artists that we otherwise know from their numismatic work. Many of the monuments are within walking distance of our new building downtown, and we hope that you will have a chance to come visit this historically interesting neighborhood. This is the first of three articles about architectural ornaments and free-standing sculpture in Manhattan, which will eventually serve as a guide book for the City’s numismatics-related public art.

An interview with our much loved Councilor Eric Newman is the first in a series of collector profiles, in which we share the more personal side of some of our great members. Thanks also to Eric’s most generous donation, the ANS celebrates this year its fiftieth Summer Graduate Seminar. This institution is unique as it allows half a dozen graduate students studying at US universities to get a scholarly introduction to the field of numismatics by using the ANS collections and by being taught by leading numismatists. The fact that we regularly get applications from abroad — foreign students can participate but are not supported by our grants — illustrates how popular this program is. Many of the alumni of this program are now teaching in US and overseas universities and help to promote the subject among their students. We are all very grateful to Eric Newman for creating the endowment that allows the ANS to run the Summer Seminar.

Before closing I want again to thank our advertisers, who make this publication possible. We are very grateful for their help and their often beautiful ads. The staff and I hope that we will see you at the annual meeting of the Society in October, which is tentatively planned to be held in our new location. Invitations and the agenda will go out in late September.

Yours truly
Ute Wartenberg Kagan