From the Executive Director (Spring 2005)

by Ute Wartenberg Kagan

Dear Members and Friends,

I am happy to present another issue of the ANS Magazine. As always, I take great pleasure in recognizing the efforts of our staff, members and other friends, who contribute articles and columns, and the support of our advertisers, who make it possible for us to publish each issue. This spring edition is especially varied and I hope you find it as interesting as I do. We are particularly grateful to Mark Tomasko, not only for authoring our cover article, but also for loaning the material for the exhibition “New York on Steel” at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. The selection of stocks and bonds on display at the Fed has been well-received, and his article allows all our members to appreciate his efforts. I think you’ll also enjoy ANS Fellow and former CNL editor Philip Mossman’s article on the ANS’ Numismatic Notes and Monographs series. Rick Witschonke has now joined the staff as a curatorial assistant but will continue his regular Impressions column, which in this issue deals with his recent work on the ANS’ collections of political buttons.

We also continue to enjoy our readers’ reactions to previous issues. Cornelius Vermeule, for example, curator emeritus at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, has pointed out that early twentieth-century ANS benefactor Archer Huntington—who was his wife Emily’s uncle—“is idealized four times by Aunt Anna as a Rodin-esque thinker at the base of El Cid.” Dr. Vermeule refers, of course, to the monument statue that Anna Hyatt Huntington had created for Audubon Terrace, which was discussed in a recent issue of the magazine (vol. 3.1, pp. 39-40), and which could hardly be overlooked by visitors to the old ANS. While Archer’s likenesses on the statue were easy to miss, his great work on behalf of the Society has received due recognition in recent issues as well (vol. 2.2, p. 37; vol. 3.2, pp. 23-24), prompting Dr. Vermeule’s interesting comments. The article in the last issue about our new medal featuring President Donald Partrick, which commemorated the move to Fulton Street, prompted member Alan Harlan to donate a beautiful new medal (see Elena Stolyarik’s “New Acquisitions” column). He had commissioned it for his 50th birthday from artist and ANS Saltus Award winner Eugene Daub, who also designed the Partrick medal. We are most grateful for such unexpected gifts to the collections, and for any comments on our features.

The news sections will let you know of all our happenings, but I would like to take this time to thank the San Francisco Ancient Coin Club and Roger Siboni for the hospitality they extended to Peter van Alfen and me on our trip to the west coast in February. And I would also like to highlight the recent publication of American Journal of Numismatics 15, Numismatic Literature 145, and Sewall Menzel’s Cobs, Pieces of Eight and Treasure Coins: The Early Spanish American Mints and Their Coinages, 1536-1773.

Finally, it is with great sadness that I report the deaths of John Mitchell and Willie Harley, Jr., who worked with us as guards for many years. The ANS is a close-knit community and these losses are keenly felt.

Yours truly,
Ute Wartenberg Kagan