Agnes Baldwin

Agnes Baldwin (1876–1955) was not only the Society’s first salaried curator, she was also one of the first Americans to achieve an international reputation for numismatic scholarship. She received a master’s degree in classical archaeology in 1900 and worked on the coins from excavations in Greece in the early 1900s.

In 1909, when the Curator was still an elected officer of the Society, Baldwin was hired as a salaried Assistant Curator, to work full-time on the collection. With a change in the by-laws in 1910, the elected office of Curator was eliminated, and Baldwin’s job title was changed to Curator. She held the position only until 1912, but an extensive research trip to Europe between 1912 and 1914 was partially supported by the Society. Her research on Archaic and Classical Greek coins, especially of electrum, was widely recognized at the time and continues to be cited over a century later.

After her return to New York in 1914 she married George M. Brett, becoming Agnes Baldwin Brett (the name by which she is better known, since it is associated with the majority of her publications). She remained active in the Society as a volunteer for the rest of her life, including serving as chair of the publications committee from 1923 to 1946 and assisting as an honorary curator for many years.

For more about Baldwin (Brett) and her activity in numismatics, see the ANS Archives.