From the Executive Director (Winter 2003)

by Ute Wartenberg Kagan

Dear Members and Friends,

The snow is falling on Audubon Terrace. Our last winter at our old location is rapidly approaching. Serious preparations for the move have been underway for the last six months. Certain parts of the collection are packed, some books are already on shelves in the new library, and our first annual meeting was held at the new location last October. We hope that the ANS will have completed the move by April 2004.

While all eyes are on the move, I am already looking at our next major project. At the Annual Meeting, our Trustee, Roger Siboni, announced that he had made a pledge of $250,000 towards developing an Exhibition Hall on one of the floors. As our opening exhibition we would like to put together a show of Members’ collections. Under Roger Siboni’s chairmanship we will form a committee that will oversee the organization of this project and help fundraise. If you are interested in this project, please contact me.

You might have read in my annual giving letter that we are working towards a major endowment campaign. Over the last five years, the ANS has raised very substantial monies towards the new location as well as endowment funds for a number of key positions such as the North American Curator, the Islamic Curator and the Librarian. Over the next six months, ANS Board Members and I will be approaching our key Donors for further gifts. We hope to be launching our campaign at the opening ceremony of the new building on June 18, 2004. Endowments for positions and programs will ensure that certain activities will happen on a regular basis. I am particularly delighted that the Stack Family has just generously endowed our renowned Coinage of the Americas Conference, which will from now on bear their name.

I am also delighted that our fundraising campaign for the Francis D. Campbell Library Chair is going well. Under the able chairmanship of John Adams, the Library Committee has raised some very significant sums towards our $2,000,000 goal. Well done, John! We hope to be able to set up similar individual fundraising drives for curatorships.

This issue features a major article by our Peter van Alfen, on the rebirth of the Olympic Games in Greece. The article was the result of the extensive research that Peter put into the exhibition of our most recent exhibition, Full Circle. The Olympic Heritage in Coins and Medals. The exhibition, which will run at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York until October 1, 2004, shows the amazing collections of two of our members, Bernth Ahlstrom and Harmer Johnson. Among the several hundred objects are some of the rarest items of Olympic history, including a few early Olympic winner medals and one of the first torches ever used at the modern games, possibly in fact, the one that appears in the runner’s hand on our cover. The exhibition was made possible by a generous grant from the Onassis Public Benefit Foundation. As always our friends at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Vice-President Jamie Stewart, Rosemary Lazenby and many others, have been of immense help.

In all, the last months have been very exciting, and there is so much to come. For this holiday season I wish you and your families all the best.

Yours truly,
Ute Wartenberg Kagan