Joel Orosz writes:
Vol 10, No 13, April 1, 2007, "Blockbuster Announcement: ANA, ANS to Merge. Duplicate Sale Planned"
In the great journalistic tradition of April 1 articles that brought us stories such as the profile of the Indian Ocean islands of "Sans Serif," a hilarious send-up of merger mania in numismatics.
Following on the heels of the recent merger of leading numismatic
auction houses Stack's and American Numismatic Rarities, the two
leading U.S. nonprofit numismatic organizations announced this weekend
that a long-rumored merger has come to pass. In a joint statement,
the leadership of the American Numismatic Society (founded 1858) and
the American Numismatic Association (founded 1891) acknowledged the
financial and organizational obstacles that each has encountered in
recent years, but focused on many positive aspects of the combined
"These past months have been both draining and exhilarating for our
boards and top officers. The secret meetings, late-night negotiation
sessions, and endless discussions of details often devolved into
recriminations and tears. We are clearly two organizations that care
deeply for our members, history and traditions. Yet the talks were
infused with a sense of great hope and promise for the future, which
we feel is being realized today. We know many of our members will feel
the same sets of contrasting emotions that all of us did in coming to
this joint decision, one which we trust and pray that in the end the
numismatic community will embrace with the same sense of hope for the
The new organization will be called the American Numismatic Trust.
No staff layoffs are planned, but headcount will be reduced through
attrition. Effective immediately, the popular glossy magazine-format
monthly publications Numismatist and American Numismatic Society
Magazine will be combined into one 25%-larger issue called simply
"Coin". Organizational news will be published mostly electronically.
The separate ANA and ANS web sites will be merged by year end.
The biggest surprise concerns the new organization's headquarters
building, which had been rumored to be the biggest stumbling block
in the negotiations. Although both sides had dug in their heels in
defense of their existing operations in Colorado Springs and New York
City, a compromise was finally brokered by a team of angel backers
led by well-known dealer Q. David Bowers, which donated an historic
building at 225 N. Holliday St. in Baltimore, Maryland.
Erected in 1813 by Rembrandt Peale, son of the famed portraitist
Charles Willson Peale, it was the first building in the Western
Hemisphere created to serve as a museum. After years of mixed success,
in 1830 the building was acquired by the city of Baltimore and later
became the home of "Number 1 Colored Primary School". In subsequent
years the building was used for storage and fell into disrepair. But
with today's announcement, the grand building, just blocks from
Baltimore's famed Inner Harbor, stands to rise again as a leading
ANS leaders contacted privately admitted that "we looked around and
realized we hadn't gotten around to unpacking all this stuff from
our last move anyway, so what the heck, we might as well move again."
The ANS' current exhibit at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York will
remain for at least two years, when a new satellite exhibit will occupy
a special place at the new Museum of American Finance at 48 Wall Street.
The Museum's founder John E. Herzog said he was "delighted with the
new arrangement, which ensures that many numismatic treasures will
remain available to the public here in New York."
In Colorado Springs, CO, a similar arrangement has been made with the
trustees of Colorado College, which will keep the main level of the
old ANA building open as a museum after the purchasing the building
and grounds by year end. Former ANA employees staying in Colorado
Springs will move to a smaller suite of rented offices nearby. In a
similar move, New York-based employees will move to smaller rented
space while the ANS building is emptied and sold.
Funds from the building sales and planned auctions of duplicates from
the organizations' famed collections and libraries will replenish the
combined organization's endowment fund.
Officials stated "We're shooting for a grand opening of the new
building Friday, August 1, 2008, in conjunction with the "World's
Fair of Money" convention planned by the ANA for the Baltimore
American Numismatic Association elections, scheduled to begin next
month, have been cancelled, and the terms of both Executive Directors
have been extended through December 31, 2012. "At first we kidded
about holding a kickboxing tournament at the 2007 Numismatic Literary
Guild Bash to determine who gets the top post, but some people didn't
get the joke. I dunno, they're both tough cookies - we coulda sold
some serious tickets."
This was one of those late-night directly-into-the-keyboard items I somehow came up with while putting the issue to bed. I went to bed myself with a smile on my face, even though in the end I resisted the urge to put in something about Chris Cipoletti and Ute Wartenberg-Kagin dancing cheek-to-cheek at the celebratory Social. It's one of my all-time favorite original articles. It set phones ringing across the country.
To read the complete original E-Sylum article, see:
BLOCKBUSTER ANNOUNCEMENT: ANA, ANS TO MERGE; DUPLICATE SALE PLANNED
THE BOOK BAZARRE
DAVID SKLOW - FINE NUMISMATIC BOOKS
offers Mail Bid Sale No. 14 on
October 15, 2011, including:
Samuel Hatch priced and named sale Feb. 14, 1866 with addenda
PH: (719) 302-5686, FAX: (719) 302-4933. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
. USPS: Box 6321, Colorado Springs, CO. 80934. Contact me for your numismatic literature needs!
Wayne Homren, Editor
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