From the Executive Director (Winter 2008)

by Ute Wartenberg Kagan

Dear Members and Friends,

We are happy to present our magazine’s new look, with our first issue published at our headquarters at 75 Varick Street. For many years we had planned to work on our stationery, signage, donor plaques, and many other issues, and the occasion of our move prompted us to act. With the help of the designer Rocco Piscatello, we undertook a complete revision of our design aesthetic. Those of you who consult the ANS Web sites will have noticed our redesign, which we introduced in October of last year. The idea behind the new ANS image was for a streamlined look to everything we do: we want to be able to design our own invitations, change our Web site content easily, and create a magazine that is clear to read and beautiful to look at. The redesign of the ANS Magazine Web site (http://ansmagazine.com) will be our next project. Thanks to volunteer and ANS Fellow Ed Snible, the magazine’s many valuable articles have been online for over a year.

The move to our new headquarters went amazingly smoothly. We are now settled in our new home, and many of our members have been enjoying our regular lecture programs, the library, and collections. The new gallery, which currently displays “One Hundred Years of Solicitude: Collecting by the New York Numismatic Club,” is an excellent space for small, specialized exhibitions. The next issue of the ANS Magazine will have some photos of the ANS’s new surroundings.

This year, we will have a full program of lectures both in New York and elsewhere. In late January, Luke Syson from the National Gallery in London will deliver a lecture on medals. In February, the ANS will award the J. Sanford Saltus Award for outstanding achievement in the art of the medal to the British artist Ron Dutton. Further monthly lectures are planned, and we will keep you posted about them. Our Web site has a calendar, which lists all events. Next month, you should receive your American Journal of Numismatics, the 150th anniversary edition! In this issue of over 600 pages, twenty-eight leading scholars in the field of numismatics have written some truly outstanding articles, many of which are destined to become standard pieces in the field. I have no doubt that this issue will be much in demand, and you might want to sign up for this volume even if you usually do not receive our journal.

In this letter, I also want to encourage all our readers to consider a subscription for another of our journals, the Colonial Newsletter. Edited by Gary Trudgen, it is the authoritative journal for colonial numismatics, now in its forty-eighth year of distribution. Although I am not a specialist in this field, I learn much from the articles, many of which are written by great collectors and scholars of American colonial history. For this year, we have lowered the price of our annual subscription to the Colonial Newsletter, as we want more ANS members to enjoy this important publication. If you are interested in receiving a free trial copy of a recent issue or subscribing to the next set of issues, please let us know.

In closing I want to point to our cover of this issue, which shows the exhausted Don Quixote on his famous horse Rocinante. In the last few months, we have been doing our utmost to save the Huntington collection of Spanish coins, which was on loan to us from the Hispanic Society of America for almost half a century. In January of last year, the trustees of the HSA announced that they were selling the collection and recalled the loan. Many members and scholars have written to us about this case, and the article in this issue is an appeal to all of you to help rescue one of the greatest collections in the United States. To this day, we hope that the trustees of the HSA will, like Don Quixote, recover their senses and return to a more enlightened view of their collections by reconsidering their decision to sell them.

Sincerely,
Ute Wartenberg Kagan
Executive Director, ANS