The June 7, 2013 issue of The Washington Post had a nice obituary of Dick Doty. Here's an excerpt.
Richard G. Doty, a scholar of money who helped humanize coins and currency by showing how the objects might reflect the culture, values and history of a society, died June 2 at the Powhatan Nursing Home in Falls Church. He was 71.
At the time of his death, Dr. Doty was the senior numismatic curator at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. “He was really a historian, more than a numismatic,” said Ute Wartenberg Kagan, executive director of the American Numismatic Society. “He interpreted the coins, and that made him very special.”
William E. Metcalf, curator of coins and medals at the Yale University Art Gallery, called Dr. Doty “a great popularizer of the discipline” through his nine books and several hundred scholarly articles.
Dr. Doty was considered one of the top numismatists in the world because he was both a specialist in the field of minting and printing technologies and a general expert on all things coin- and currency-related, particularly the objects’ places in history.
Most numismatists specialize in a geographical area or a certain time period, but Dr. Doty’s “Renaissance personality” drove him to learn everything he could about coins and paper money and what stories they told about their time periods, said Karen Lee, a curator with the Smithsonian’s National Numismatic Collection and a colleague of Dr. Doty’s for 10 years.
“I have never seen anybody do that before,” Lee said. “You could ask him a question about anything, literally anything.”
Richard George Doty was born in Portland, Ore., on Jan. 11, 1942. His interest in coins began at 8, when he got hold of Japanese and Chinese coins brought back from World War II.
His collection grew from there. He added Indian rupees and some private Chinese bank notes from the early 20th century that he obtained from a childhood friend, but he said that he preferred coins.
“Old coins are as much antiques, works of art, as Chippendale chairs or paintings by Rubens,” Dr. Doty told the Times in 1978. “They afford us fascination and great pleasure, and they are within the reach of everyone.” He added that coins are “perhaps the easiest and best way of getting into the past, of learning about other peoples, places, and times.”
Post web site reader "HistoryRhymes" wrotes:
What this obituary omits is a sense of Dr. Doty as a person. Dick was playful, fun, and loved his job. He even complained in good humor. While it would have been well within his rights to play the haughty academic, he was incredibly down to earth, enjoying good company and genuine intellectual curiosity with average collectors as much as famed experts. He was a careful researcher, a generous colleague, and a master practitioner of language in all of its forms. The world has known a lot of brilliant curators and gifted numismatists, but there will never be another remotely like Dr. Doty.
To read the complete article, see:
Richard G. Doty, money expert and Smithsonian curator, dies at 71
THE BOOK BAZARRE
OVER 500 NUMISMATIC TITLES
Wizard Coin Supply has over 300 numismatic titles in stock,
competitively discounted, and available for immediate shipment.
See our selection at
Wayne Homren, Editor
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor
at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 1998 - 2020 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.
NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster