The American Numismatic Society gets back on track: Q. David Bowers

By , Special to Coin World
Published : 05/27/16
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The Joys of Collecting column from the June 13, 2016, Weekly issue of Coin World:

Shortly after 1900, the American Numismatic Society was in danger of dissolving, following a failed attempt to merge into the New-York Historical Society.

Enter railroad heir Archer M. Huntington, who loved history and numismatics and was elected ANS president. The American Journal of Numismatics was brought back to the ANS from the Boston Numismatic Society.

Huntington purchased land on Audubon Terrace on Broadway between 155th and 156th streets on which to build a granite and marble headquarters building that was dedicated on April 6, 1908.

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Earlier, financier J.P. Morgan had acquired the estate collection of R.C.H. Brock, enjoyed it for a time, then donated this and many other coins and medals to the American Museum of Natural History, New York City. In 1908, with the museum’s and Morgan’s consent, the collection was transferred to the ANS.

In the next decade, Huntington donated or paid for thousands of other coins and medals. The library was expanded as well.

In March 1910 the International Exhibition of Contemporary Medals was held at the ANS, memorialized by a catalog prepared by Agnes Baldwin. From the outset the facilities, reputation, scholarly atmosphere, and other features of the ANS drew to it some of the most talented researchers and writers in numismatics.

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