January 28, 2016 – On January 7th, 2016 the ANS Gala-Dinner was held – “the” social event during the New York International Numismatic Convention. The annual Gala-Dinner constitutes the main fundraising event for the American Numismatic Society, which, common in the Unite States, finances itself mainly through donations in order to fulfill its scholarly mission.
To this very day, the photo of the charismatic collector and scholar Rick Witschonke, who passed away in February of 2015, is able to inspire the guests to give generous donations. Photo: Alan Roche.
How effective such large events are for fundraising, is best displayed by an “auction” that took place. In order to finance the scholarly work on the coins the late Rick Witschonke had donated to the ANS, bids starting at $ 5,000 going down were called for. It only took 2 minutes to archive the needed sum.
Cocktail hour prior to the Gala: Herb Kreindler and his wife (l.), right, the Swabian coin dealer Martina Dieterle. Photo: Alan Roche.
Cocktail hour prior to the Gala: Alexandra Elflein / Künker (l.), Hubert Lanz / Numismatik Lanz (center), Yves Gunzenreiner / Nomos (r.). Photo: Alan Roche.
The event took place at the legendary Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, which also gives a home to the New York International Coin Convention. A cocktail hour in the Vanderbilt Room opened the Gala event.
Regina and John Adams receive the ANS’ Trustees Award. From left to right: Kenneth L. Edlow, Chairman of the ANS Board of Trustees, Regina Adams, John Adams. Photo: Alan Roche.
An essential part of the evening was spent honoring four people, who have made great contributions in the field of numismatics. The first laureates of the evening were Regina and John Adams, who won the ANS’ Trustees Award. The price is awarded since 2003 and honors people, who, in extraordinary measures, supported the ANS to archive its goals. Among the laureates of the Trustee’s Award have been mainly coin dealers like Harlan J. Berk, Victor England, George Kolbe and Harvey Stack.
John Adams is a known numismatic author in the U.S., who has published many books, mainly on the subject of medals. Being the founder of the investment bank Adams, Harkness & Hill, he possesses the means to generously support scholarly numismatics in the U.S. It was through his help, that the coin cabinet of the Massachusetts Historical Society was preserved. Next to his active involvement in the ANS, he has also given substantial donations to this institution.
His wife Regina Adams originates in Celle, Germany. She is a photographer and came to the U.S. in the 1970’s. It was through her husband that she discovered numismatics. She collects multiple talers of the duchy of Brunswick with a passion.
Kenneth E. Bressett receives the ANS Distinguished Service Award. Left, Ute Wartenberg, r. Kenneth E. Bressett, “Mr. Red Book”. Photo: Alan Roche.
“Mr. Red Book” is the nickname of the modest Kenneth E. Bressett, who has been devoted to numismatics since 50 years. He published many books about many subjects, but his most famous are the well-known “Red Books”. They contain everything one needs to know about collecting U.S. coins and they are internationally unparalleled in their level of detail.
Mark Anderson delivers the award named after his father to Ursula Kampmann. Photo: Alan Roche.
Ursula Kampmann is the first European to receive the Burnett Anderson Memorial Award for Excellence in Numismatic Writing. She stands in line with legendary American authors, such as Q. David Bowers, Clifford Mishler and Chester L. Krause. The price is awarded by three institutions: the American Numismatic Society, the American Numismatic Association, and the Numismatic Literary Guild.
Here, you can find the cv’s of the awardees.
If you’d like to join next year’s ANS Gala, please find information about tickets and sponsorship opportunities here.