The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 43, October 22, 2006, Article 4


According to a press release issued by Washington University in
St. Louis, the long-awaited Newman Money Museum will be dedicated
on October 25th:

"The 3,000-square-foot Newman Money Museum, housed within the new
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, features items drawn from Newman's
renowned collection as well as a numismatics library and workspace
for scholars. Displays survey the history of coins and paper money
from their beginnings and to the present day, as well as the
relationship between money, society, culture and commemoration and
related issues such as production, inflation and counterfeiting.

"Mr. Newman's interests are extremely broad, though his primary area
of focus has been Colonial and early American money," said Tom
Serfass, curator of the Newman collection since 1990.

Several exhibits document the legacy of Benjamin Franklin, a central
figure in the development of American Colonial paper money. For
example, in the 1730s, Franklin helped curb widespread counterfeiting
through his invention of "nature printing," in which bills were
printed with intricate leaf patterns."

"Exhibits also will explore the lasting influence of Spanish specie
coinage, which was widely used until the mid-19th century. For example,
the Spanish peso - also nicknamed the Spanish milled dollar or "piece
of eight" - was comprised of eight reals, which Colonists often
physically cut apart ("made change") using a hatchet."

"Also on view will be displays about the creation of money, from
conception and initial design sketches through coinage and engraving
and final production; as well as an extensive collection of coin
counters and changers; rare examples of printing errors; and a selection
of "Hard Times tokens," a form of non-governmental copper coinage
popular during money shortages accompanying the 1837-44 recession.

Eric P. Newman is perhaps best known for his pioneering study The
Early Paper Money of America (1967), which remains the standard work
on the subject and is now entering its fifth edition. Other written
works include The 1776 Continental Currency Coinage: Varieties of the
Fugio Cent (1952), The Fantastic 1804 Dollar (1962) and U.S. Coin
Scales and Counterfeit Coin Detectors (2000)."

"The Newman Money Museum opens Wednesday, Oct. 25. It is housed within
Washington University's new Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, located
near the intersection of Skinker and Forsyth boulevards. A dedication
ceremony for the complex will begin at 3 p.m. with an open house
following from 4:30 to 8 p.m. All exhibits are free and open to the
public. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays;
11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
The museum is closed Tuesdays and university holidays. For more
information, call (314) 935-9595."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

[Eric Newman writes: "Our team is working full time to get the museum
open on time and we are hopeful that it will be of educational benefit
to and enjoyment for the public. It has been an enormous amount of
work to get our museum and its display cases and library office designed
and created, to determine what exhibits and regulations to start with
and to coordinate with the Art and Architecture Department of Washington
University's new large Art Center building.  The recent Coin World
article was generated from the University which is presently handling
the publicity for our money museum section."

I spoke briefly by phone with Tom Serfass, and he will provide us some
more information once the opening is complete.  Until then, there is
much last-minute work to do, but I'm sure all will turn out well.  If
there are any E-Sylum readers in driving distance of St. Louis, you are
hereby duly deputized to attend the opening ceremony and report back to
our readers.  It's not every day one has the opportunity to participate
in such a happy occasion for numismatists and bibliophiles.  We wish
Eric and his team all the best and look forward to the facility's debut.

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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