The E-Sylum:  Volume 6, Number 53, December 16, 2003, Article 2


  On December 9th, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published
  an article about The Sam Fox Arts Center at Washington
  University is St. Louis.  Why should E-Sylum readers care?
  According to the article,  "When completed, one special
  feature of the $56.8 million arts complex will be a 3,000-
  square-foot numismatic museum, the Newman Money

  A gift of $2 million from St. Louis philanthropists and
  civic leaders Eric P. Newman and Evelyn E. Newman
  will endow it. A variety of money-related exhibits are to be
  presented, as well as opportunities for scholarly research."

  "Evelyn Newman is famous for raising money for good
   causes...  Her husband, Eric, is a distinguished numismatist.
   His collection began more than 80 years ago when his
   grandfather gave him a one-cent piece dating from 1859.
   His fascination grew, and his collection has grown to be one
  of the nation's most famous. It is especially important for its
   U.S. and early American coins and paper money. Eric
   Newman, a former Edison Brothers Stores Inc. executive
   and a lawyer, is a graduate of the university's law school."
   The paper's web site is:

  After reading the article I dropped everything and sent a
  quick note to Eric:  "I just read the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  article about the new Newman Money Museum.  Fantastic!
  Would you mind sharing some of your thoughts with your
  bibliophile friends via The E-Sylum? "

  Eric replied: "You certainly do not let a piece of newspaper
  publicity stay unnoticed and I thank you for contacting me.
  The Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society
  (Incorporated in 1958) will be allotted numismatic museum
  space of about 3,000 sq. ft. in the new 55,000 sq. ft. Sam
  Fox Arts Center on the campus of Washington University in
  St. Louis which will have a total exhibit space of 15,000 sq. ft.
  open to the public and the balance will be used for art and art
  history education, reading rooms, administration, facilities and
  art collection storage, etc. Our coin and paper money exhibit
  space will include a small Victorian office-library containing
  some of our numismatic library material (major rarities will be
  kept in bank vaults) and the balance of that library will be
  brought to the museum for research from on-campus space
  when convenient. Unusual numismatic books, broadsides,
  and pamphlets will sometimes be on exhibit.   Construction is
  scheduled to begin in spring 2004.   I am delighted to be
  connected with such a prestigious institution which is only a
  couple of blocks away from my home.

  Any suggestions from your readers as to subject matter or
  types of coin, paper money, token or library exhibits are
  more than welcome."

  Several years ago during an Early American Coppers
  convention in St. Louis, I visited an earlier incarnation of
  Eric's museum (twice), with Eric himself as a guide.  John
  Burns and Charlie Davis joined us for a look at Eric's
  numismatic library, which was displayed in a two-story
  high office at the back of the museum.  A balcony circled
  the room, accessed by a spiral staircase.  I felt like I was
  in the numismatic library of heaven.

  I replied to Eric: "I recall your earlier museum at the
  Mercantile Bank.  I remember some simply gorgeous
  high-grade colonial coins.  I also seem to recall you had a
  couple animated figures in period dress.  What became of
  them?   Your exhibits were very nicely done.   Would there
  be both a permanent exhibit and rotating exhibits of coins?
  Could we expect to see your Confederate Half dollar on
  display someday?"

  Eric replied: "What a memory you have!  We had the
  numismatic museum at the Mercantile Bank in St. Louis for
  almost 20 years and the new one at Washington University
  will be bigger and hopefully better. It will emphasize money
  uses, the economic and political history of money, the art on
  money and other matters related to numismatics. We will be
  revitalizing the best of the old displays and adding new ones.
  We are developing a new animated figure of Franklin and
  a few surprises. We will rotate exhibits when deemed
  advisable. You ask about exhibiting the Confederate Half
  dollar and other major rarities and that gives rise to a security
  problem which must be carefully considered.  Anything we
  have would be available for examination to appropriate
  scholars on advance arrangements but the items not on
  exhibit would naturally be kept in bank vaults and not at the

  Our numismatic books and pamphlets are too numerous to
  count but will be available to researchers. Some of our
  library will be in a small Victorian style office in the exhibit
  space.  We invite encourage you and your readers to suggest
  themes, subject matter and categories for displays which will
  increase public interest in numismatics other than commercial
  value. We try to use associated artifacts, pictorial material,
  explanations, broadsides, etc. to supplement the coins, paper
  money and tokens in a display.  If you have any more
  questions please feel free to ask them as you have your eye
  on what encourages the joys and satisfactions of the
  intellectually stimulating discipline of numismatics.  A happy
  holiday to you and your many friends."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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