The E-Sylum:  Volume 7, Number 25, June 20, 2004, Article 13


  In response to last week's question about the Newark
  Museum in New Jersey,  Harry Waterson writes: "There is a
  very good paper on the Newark Museum entitled "John
  Cotton Dana and the Ideal Museum Collection of Medals"
  by Dorothy Budd Bartle in The Medal In America edited by
  Alan M. Stahl copyright 1988 by the American Numismatic
  Society.  Mr. Dana set the bar as ".,.. he worked to build
  his ideal museum collection of medals and use it for the
  common good".

  I have found this Museum to be especially helpful to me as
  a medal collector. They e-mailed to me scans of 10 medals
  I am interested in with speed, accuracy, a true willingness to
  help and at no cost - an experience I find truly rare.

  I enjoy reading The E-Sylum.  Quite often at the bottom of
  the stream of books and pubs, I find the occasional medallic
  nugget or two.  Thank you very much."

  Denis Loring writes: "I can't tell you anything about the rest of
  the collection, but I can say they have a decent group of large
  cents.  In 1985, I was engaged by the then-curator of the coin
  collection, Ms. Dorothy Budd Bartle, to help them expand
  their large cent holding.  The goal was to assemble a "Red Book"
  date and major variety set, with die variety sets of a few years
  such as 1802 and 1817.  Unfortunately, the project was never
  completed, due (as you'd guess) by competing interests and
  lack of funds."

  Our anonymous currency collector writes: "I believe The
  Newark Museum does not always have numismatic displays.
  It does have a very large collection of numismatic items (more
  than could be displayed at once).  Usually, these can be seen
  by appointment only.  At the current time, there is no numismatic
  curator, although there have been several in the past, including
  William Bischoff, formerly of the ANS.  The numismatic
  collections currently fall under the domain of the decorative arts
  curator, Mr. Ulysses S. Dietz.  Mr. Dietz is a direct descendant
  of U.S. Grant, and was one of the Grant descendants who
  negotiated with the National Park Service to improve the
  condition of Grant's Tomb on Riverside Drive in New York.

  William Bischoff writes: "You ask in the 13 June E-Sylum, "Do
  we have any readers from the Garden State who can tell us
  about the coins and currency on display [at The Newark
  Museum]?"  It is ironic that the lengthy and accurate article
  from the Star-Ledger you cite was written by Dan Bischoff
  (no relation to me), but I can add some specific information on
  the coin collection, since I was curator of numismatics at The
  Newark Museum from 1991 to 1997.

  No curator has been named for this collection since I left, and
  there is no regular numismatic exhibit open to the public, nor
  is one planned. Approximately 35,000 specimens (coins, paper
  money, medals and exonumia) are housed in the vault, however,
  and might be available for viewing by someone with specific a
  specific research interest.  The strongest fields are U.S. gold;
  African paper money; perhaps the finest American collections
  of obsidional coinage (especially from the Netherlands); Spanish
  Colonial treasure salvage; art medals (especially by John
  Flannigan); and exonumia by the former Newark firm of
  Whitehead & Hoag.  Because, as the Star-Ledger article makes
  clear, the emphasis at the Museum has always been educational,
  not research-oriented, there are few duplicates suitable for die
  studies and the like.  Those with a legitimate research interest
  are advised to contact the Associate Registrar, Scott Hankins,
  at 973-596-6676.

  On a lighter note, readers may want to visit the Newark Museum
  website at and scroll down on the
  home page to the interactive feature "Once Upon a Dime," put
  on by the Children's Museum and sponsored by J.P.Morgan
  Chase and others.  For those with children (up to about 12 or
  13 years of age) who can make it to Newark, a visit to the
  physical exhibition would definitely be worthwhile.  It is
  scheduled to close in August 2005."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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