From the Executive Director (Fall 2013)

From the Executive Director

Ute Wartenberg Kagan

Dear Members and Friends,

Summer is almost over, and I am writing this letter from a hotel near the Chicago’s O’Hare airport, where the American Numismatic Association is holding its annual World Fair of Money. It is always wonderful to meet some of the collectors among our members, to meet old and new friends, and to see more coins and other objects than one could possibly otherwise encounter in a few days. As my main interest lies in ancient Greek coins, I make a point to look at other coins or objects, about which I know next to nothing.

There are an astonishing number of auctions, where one can study much, all captured in amazing catalogues written by great experts. It is these cataloguers, who are the unsung heroes of the coin trade, as many work behind the scenes and are rarely ever acknowledged as authors of these works. As we at the ANS know only too well, cataloguing our many newly acquired coins is often a time-consuming enterprise, and one can only wonder how hard cataloguers work when they face a tight deadline of an auction schedule.
And it is often a good, competently written catalogue that makes the curatorial staff at the ANS aware that we are missing a coin; in some exceptional cases, we are subsequently able to purchase missing items and thus enrich our collection.

In this issue of the ANS Magazine, we have many reports about recent activities at the ANS. A personal highlight for my colleague Andrew Meadows and myself was undoubtedly our trip to Greece in May, when we honored two distinguished members of the academic community. At an event hosted at the American School in Athens, many members and friends celebrated the achievements of Ioannis Touratsoglou and Olivier Picard. I was very happy see many ANS Members at this event, as we are rarely able to reach out to our sizeable international community. In this issue, you will find the published version of a talk given by our colleague, Dr. Giancarlo Alteri, as part of our Mark M. Salton Memorial Lecture series. Dr. Alteri, the Director of the Numismatic Department of the Vatican Library, is a leading expert on the papal series of medals, and I hope that our members will enjoy his article on this wide-ranging series. The beautiful cover of our ANS Magazine shows the extraordinary artistry of the Vatican series.

The article by Peter van Alfen and Gilles Bransbourg looks at the ancient city of Phocaea on the western coast of Turkey and its colonies in France and Spain. This article gives the background to a loan exhibition of coins to the small town of Auriol near Marseille in
France. This exhibition is part of our efforts to send more actual coins on the road and show them to a wider public in different museums. We are in the process of improving our website to let members know where they can see parts of our collection as they go on
display around the world.

I hope that our members will enjoy this issue. Over the next few months, there will be some changes at the ANS, as we advertise for a Curator of American coins to replace Robert Hoge, curator emeritus. With the death of our colleague Dick Doty at the Smithsonian Institution, another key position of American numismatics has also become vacant, and we hope that the individuals who will fill these two positions will bring new excitement to this important field of numismatics. We will keep you posted on future developments, and as always, appreciate any ideas you might have for the Society.

Ute Wartenberg Kagan
Executive Director