News (Winter 2004)

Professor Rtveladze visits ANS

On October 14, 2004 Professor Edward Rtveladze, Academician of the Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences and Head of the Archaeology Department of the Art Research Institute in Uzbekistan visited the ANS at our new facility. Rtveladze is a world-renowned scholar, an outstanding historian and archaeologist, and a specialist in the numismatics, culture and arts of Central Asia. He is the author of more than 20 monographs and about 600 articles dedicated to fundamental problems of Central Asia history. His visit was part of a program arranged by the Institute of International Education, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State international visitor leadership program. Collections Manager Dr. Elena Stolyarik showed Professor Rtveladze the ANS collections of ancient Parphian and Bactrian coins. He also discussed with Dr. Michael Bates, Curator of the Islamic Coins, the problems of identification of the pre-Muslim coins of Chach (in the area of the modern Tashkent).

ANS Collects Numismatic Publications for Iraq Museum

It has been over a year since the Iraq Museum was looted in the aftermath of the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime. Thankfully, the museum’s collection of some 100,000 coins miraculously escaped when looters—who somehow had keys to cabinets where the collection was stored—dropped them in the dark and confusion. Unfortunately, the museum’s offices and other parts of the collection were not so lucky. While the initial reports of looting were exaggerated, the museum really did suffer some serious losses.

Academics with an interest in the Middle East have since plead for international assistance to restore the Iraq Museum, and a cadre of young Iraqi scholars has been recruited to make help make this dream become a reality. These Iraqi scholars can particularly use help in rebuilding the institution’s collection of reference materials. For that reason, the ANS asks its members and other interested parties to donate numismatic books to be sent to Iraq for use at the Museum. Even before the war, the Museum’s reference materials on coins were seriously lacking. Copies of major references for coins found in the area will thus be of immense help to the museum staff—which now includes at least one young woman training as a numismatist.

Book donations can be sent to the ANS, care of Joanne Isaac. Such donations will be tax-deductible and will be fully acknowledged as gifts. The ANS has also listed references of particular interest to the Iraq Museum on its web site. Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated by Iraqi scholars and will offer a concrete demonstration of the commitment of the American numismatic community to their fellow numismatists in Iraq.

Society Participates in ANA Convention

The American Numismatic Society was well represented at the annual convention of the American Numismatic Association, held in Pittsburgh August 18 to 23. Librarian Frank Campbell and Curator of North American Coins and Currency Robert Hoge manned a table in the bourse hall, assisted by Ian Stevens of the David Brown Book Company and volunteers Robert Leonard, Robert Julian and Gordon Frost. The very successful ANS Library benefit auction held in conjunction with the convention will be discussed in the Librarian’s column. Many ANS members were in attendance, and a number distinguished themselves—among them, Dr. David Menchell, who won the Howland Wood Best-in-Show Award for his exhibit “Medals of the French and Indian Wars.”

The Society participated in a special meeting, called by the Smithsonian Institution’s Director of the National Museum of American History, Brent D. Glass, to help determine how best to utilize the National Numismatic Collection’s resources, now that the numismatic exhibition hall has been closed down. Participants explored a variety of suggestions and approaches, considering the funding needs implied by each. The Society may be able to assist in a number of ways in the future, including display of items from the Smithsonian Institution’s collection in the exhibition hall in the new ANS facilities, development of which is planned over the next several years.

Our congratulations go to the American Numismatic Association for another successful show.

ANS Annual Meeting

The 147th Annual Meeting of the American Numismatic Society was held on October 23, 2004. Approximately 30 members attended the meeting, which was followed by a reception in the ground floor Hall. The President, Treasurer and ANS staff were present and reported on the activities of the past year.

Mr. Donald Partrick, President of the Society, opened the meeting. He spoke enthusiastically about the changing neighborhood of lower Manhattan as well as new headquarters and a bright future for the ANS. The minutes of last year’s Annual meeting were approved.

On behalf of the Nominating and Governance Committee, Chairman Peter K. Tompa read the names of the nominees for election. The Fellows of the Society unanimously elected to confirm the nomination 7 incumbent and 3 new candidates to the Board of Trustees. All Fellows present at the meeting raised their hands in favor of the nominations and 70 proxies by mail were counted. Short biographies of the new members of the Board of Trustees and a full list of the ANS Board of Trustees can be found on the ANS website. The newly elected Trustees classes of tenure are as follows: Class of 2007: Dr. Lawrence A. Adams, Mr. Charles C. Anderson, Prof. Jane Merriam Cody, Prof. Peter Gaspar, Prof. Kenneth W. Harl, Prof. John H. Kroll, Mr. David B. Simpson, Dr. Thomas A. Zdeblick Class of 2006: Prof. Jere L. Bacharach Class of 2005: Mr. Daniel Hamelberg

Mr. Tompa announced that the Board had elected the following members as Fellows of the Society: Mr. Victor England, Mr. Jerome Haggerty, Dr. David Menchel, Mr. Normand Pepin, Dr. Stuart D. Sears, Mr. Lawrence R. Stack, Mr. David M. Sundman, Mr. Edward J. Waddell, Jr.. The Board also named Mr. Chester A. Krause as an Honorary Fellow of the Society. A full list of the ANS Fellows can also be found on the ANS website.

Dr. Wartenberg Kagan, reported on the events of the past year, thanked the members and donors for their contributions and congratulated John Adams for his successful Library fundraising campaign. She spoke encouragingly about future ANS fundraising efforts.

Dr. Ute Wartenberg Kagan presented Donald Partrick, ANS President, to his surprise, with a gold medal that bears his portrait and an image of the new ANS building on the obverse. The unveiling of this new ANS medal commemorates the move to new headquarters in downtown Manhattan. Illustrated on the reverse is the ANS’ move as a heroic task of the ancient hero Hercules, who is straining mightily to move rows of coins. Eugene Daub, the ANS Saltus Medal winner in 1991, designed the medal. Mr. Daub is also the artist of a medal commemorating the centenary of the Statue of Liberty in 1986. A committee of ANS Fellows and members commissioned the medal in recognition of Mr. Partrick’s continued service to the Society. Mr. Partrick, president of the ANS since 1999, has been instrumental in the renovation work of the new building and has helped significantly in the relocation of the ANS. “We are delighted that this medal acknowledges so beautifully Donald Partrick’s efforts. The ANS has had a great medallic tradition for more than a century, and we hope to be able to commission more pieces of art from such distinguished sculptors as Eugene Daub,” Dr. Wartenberg Kagan said. The medal was struck by the Medallic Art Company, who produced only a single gold example. Sets of silver and bronze medals will be given to major donors to the American Numismatic Society’s capital campaign. A bronze version of the new medal is available in a limited edition at $200 ($175 to ANS members).

Mr. Kenneth Edlow was introduced and given a round of applause for his dedicated service as ANS Treasurer for the past five years. He reported on the financial situation over the past year. As of October 2004, the investment portfolio, which is being run by Trustee George Wyper of Wyper Capital Management, was up by 1.5% for the quarter compared to a decline of 1.9% for the S&P 500 and 3.4% for the Dow. For the first nine months of 2004, the ANS portfolio was up 4.0% versus a decline of 3.5% for the Dow and a positive return of 1.5% for the S&P 500. The ANS portfolio benefits from a mixture of financial, internet, energy and general holdings. Mr. Edlow reported that ANS expenditure and other non-investment income was generally in line with budget expectations, although the ANS move had generated some additional expenditure.

Mr. Roger Siboni was introduced as the incoming ANS Treasurer. He spoke about his plans regarding the financial management of the ANS finances. Over the next few years, the sale of the old ANS headquarters at Audubon Terrace and an aggressive fundraising campaign were at the heart of his agenda. At the same time he is planning to simplify the ANS chart of accounts, which will help staff and Trustees control income and expenditure.

Dr. Wartenberg Kagan presented Stephen Album with the 2003 Archer M. Huntington Award for recognition of his outstanding achievement in numismatic scholarship. Mr. Album, the most distinguished Islamic scholar of his generation, is only the third Islamic Scholar to have received this award in its eighty-five year history. Dr. Wartenberg Kagan read out the citation honoring Mr. Album as one of the foremost scholars in the academic field of numismatics.

Dr. Wartenberg Kagan then introduced Mr. Charles Karukstis, Chair of the Advisory Committee, who spoke about the new membership to the committee. He announced that a new column will be introduced in the ANS magazine that will incorporate comments and suggestions with the committees initiatives on behalf of the Society.

ANS Trustee, Clifford Mishler, was then called to the podium to make a special presentation on behalf of Krause Publications. The Numismatic Ambassador Award was bestowed upon Robert Wilson Hoge, Curator of North American Coins and Currency. This award, sponsored by Numismatic News, honors Mr. Hoge for the respect he has earned in the field, his quest for knowledge and his willingness to disseminate what he knows to all numismatic enthusiasts.

Francis D. Campbell, Librarian, reported on Library’s many events over the past year. Archivist Joseph Ciccone presented the goals and efforts to organize the ANS archives, and the curators, Elena Stolyrik, Peter van Alfen, Michael Bates and Robert Wilson Hoge reported on the past year’s donations, in illustrated PowerPoint presentations.