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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 18, April 30, 2006, Article 13

JOHNSON: PLAN TO VISIT BROOKGREEN GARDENS FOUR TIMES

Dick Johnson writes: "Brookgreen Gardens was a favorite haunt
of super collector, world traveler and American Numismatic
Association official John Jay Pittman. Mine too. In addition
to the statues by numismatic artists mentioned by Rich Jewell
in last week's E-Sylum, are the animals (itís also a zoo), the
birds (itís also an aviary) and the flora and fauna. Plan to
visit four times, once each season. The color and beauty change
with each season. I have been there three times (but I forgot
what season I am missing so I am going to have to start the
cycle all over again).

The sculpture (and medals in their collections!) are the domain
of Senior Curator Robin R. Salmon. Buy her 1993 book on the
Brookgreen collections. It includes some of the best biographies
of all those numismatic artists Rich mentioned last week. Also
get the book by her predecessor, Beatrice Gilman Proske. Both
are great books, they donít duplicate each other, and both have
excellent artists bios.

Mrs. Proske worked at the Hispanic Society, next door to the
American Numismatic Society in New York City when it was at
Audubon Terrace. I often ran into her at a function of one or
the other, or at some sculpture function. She wrote the first
edition in 1936, the second in 1968, and she was still active
years later.

The Huntingtons Ė Archer Milton and Anna Hyatt Ė bought
Brookgreen Plantation in 1929 and added adjacent land until
they had 9,000 acres. Brookgreen plantation was once the home
of John Trumbull (who designed the four Washington Seasons
Medals of 1796 and was the subject of the third medal, for 1849,
in the American Art-Union Medal Series with portrait by Charles
Cushing Wright).

While the Huntingtons were building Brookgreen Gardens they
lived in a bunker-like building across the highway right on
the seashore. Visit that also on your trip to Brookgreen Gardens.

Archer Huntington is the same person who was the benefactor to
the American Numismatic Society. He not only gave the Society
the building they recently abandoned, but also five other buildings
to organizations which located at Audubon Terrace (he had earlier
bought John James Audubonís farm located from Broadway to the
Hudson River, and from 152th to 156th Street.

He was also a benefactor to several other museums. They say
"Everywhere he put his foot down, a museum sprung up." Anna
Hyatt was six years younger, but well known as a sculptor even
before they married. In fact, she was listed in Whoís Who as a
sculptor before he was listed as a philanthropist. She was earning
$50,000 a year before the income tax was enacted (while Archer was
spending more than ten times that in a yearís time!).

Question for E-Sylum readers. Archer was spending inherited money,
where did it come from?"

[Dick Johnson has answered last week's Quiz Question for us:
Huntington's numismatic connection is his support for the
American Numismatic Society.  But now Dick has saddled us with
a fresh Quiz Question - who can tell us where Huntington's
millions sprang from? -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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