ANA names museum curator

July 13, 2001 By ekr

ANA names museum curator

Lawrence J. Lee, former curator of the Byron Reed Collection at the Durham Western Heritage Museum, has been named curator of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) Money Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

In making the announcement, ANA President H. Robert Campbell says, “The ANA is very fortunate to have Larry join the ANA staff. His experience and background are ideally suited to the ANA’s newly renovated museum.”

Lee, 51, was featured in an article in the March issue of The Numismatist along with four other numismatic curators. Also featured in that article was outgoing ANA Curator Robert W. Hoge, who announced his resignation in late June.

“There are very few jobs I would leave the Reed Collection for, but being the curator of the ANA Museum is certainly one of them,” Lee says. “I am very excited about coming to the ANA. This is a world-class organization that seems poised to take off to the next level of growth. The heart of any museum is its collection, and the ANA’s assemblage of numismatic objects is second to none.”

Lee has worked as curator of the Byron Reed Collection in Omaha, Nebraska, for the past four years. The collection is famous for its rare coins and medals, among them a Class I 1804 dollar and some of the finest pattern coins known. It also contains thousands of documents, autographs, books, maps and engravings.

“While at the Western Heritage Museum, I had the unique opportunity to curate and organize a celebrated numismatic collection, to open a major numismatic museum gallery and to assemble a solid numismatic library,” Lee says. “A curator has two main functions: collection management and exhibit design. I would expect to begin work immediately in both areas, making the ANA Money Museum the premier numismatic museum in the United States.”

“My strong points are in organizing and managing projects, whether it be planning an exhibition or imposing order on a huge pile of artifacts. I also have found that my computer and database skills are a great advantage in curating a large collection.” Lee remembers that as an 11-year-old, he found an About Uncirculated 1916-D Wheat cent in his mother’s piggy bank and felt his “blood race” with excitement. He soon made a “nuisance” of himself at the local bank, buying rolls of cents and, nickels and cashing in the coins he had purchased the day before.

A native of Denver, Colorado, Lee holds a bachelor’s degree in archaeology and history, a master’s degree in adult education and museum studies, and is nearing completion of his doctorate dissertation, which is a qualitative case study of numismatic education in the United States.In addition to his numismatic work, Lee has worked at archaeological sites in the Great Plains region, and in Israel on a site at Ein-Gedi, near the Dead Sea. He also was general manager of a 50-employee print shop; president of an automatic identification software company; owned a successful bar-code label printing company; served as assistant editor of the journal Plains Anthropologist; and was a vest-pocket coin dealer, “with very small pockets.”

Lee, his wife, Kim, and two children will move to Colorado Springs, Colorado, in August. He will begin work at the ANA in September. 

Originally Release Date: July 13, 2001
ANA Contacts: Phone: 719-482-9872
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