US Coins

Ellen Feingold new curator of National Numismatic Collection

Ellen Feingold was appointed by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History effective June 30 as curator of the National Numismatic Collection.

Feingold fills the vacancy left by the June 2, 2013, death of Dr. Richard G. Doty, senior numismatic curator, scholar, and author.

Feingold is an experienced historian, curator, numismatist, and educator. Most recently, she served as project curator for the Money in Africa project in the Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum.

In her role at the British Museum, Feingold conducted innovative research on the history of currency counterfeiting in the British Empire and co-curated a display on mobile money in Africa for the Citi Money Gallery.

“Ellen is a strong scholar of numismatic history and has worked with our outstanding collection,” said John L. Gray, director of the museum. “I know that she is eager to meet and work with the numismatic community, and she will emphasize educational opportunities and outreach to young people to excite an interest in numismatics and history.”

The museum’s plans for the National Numismatic Collection include a new exhibition scheduled to open in July 2015 on the first floor of the west wing, as part of its transformation of exhibition and program space. The exhibition, called “The Value of Money,” will display the many forms money has taken throughout history and explore how money reflects the social values of communities around the world. It will look at money as a medium of exchange and a means of communication for governments, citizens, and artists.     

Feingold holds a doctorate in history and master’s degree in economic and social history, both from the University of Oxford in England. At the University of Oxford, she held Merton College’s John Roberts Scholarship, the Beit Research Scholarship and the Clarendon Scholarship, and was the recipient of numerous other research grants and awards. She also earned a bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Feingold is currently a faculty affiliate in the African Studies Program at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.

"Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History explores the infinite richness and complexity of American history," according to the Smithsonian. "The museum helps people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more humane future. It is currently renovating its west exhibition wing, developing galleries on business, democracy and culture."

For more information, visit the National Museum of American History website. The museum is located at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W., and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. 

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