Raising $1.5 million by June 1 is the goal that Jeff Garrett has set for himself.
If successful, the money raised by the Lexington, Ky., coin dealer will be donated to the Smithsonian Institution to help fund a new Gallery of Numismatic History in the Museum of American History.
Garrett, who owns Mid-American Rare Coin Gallery, Inc., has helped the Smithsonian before. A temporary exhibit called Stories on Money opened in 2009.
A new Gallery of Numismatic History would be of a much more permanent nature.
The individual or group that donates $1.5 million would have naming rights to the new area that would last 20 years or more.
The donor(s) would also have the opportunity to host two special events at the museum in the five years after the new gallery’s projected opening in 2015 and there would be other recognitions extended that includes cross promotions.
Overall, the Gallery of Numismatic History would be 1,000 square feet and its installation is part of a $120 million renovation of museum’s west exhibition wing.
Numismatics, of course, is just a small piece of this effort, but the Smithsonian notes that the Gallery of Numismatic History will be four times the size of the present temporary exhibit.
With the National Numismatic Collection containing one million pieces, the new area will be able to exhibit more of them than is currently the case and raise the stature of numismatics among the Smithsonian’s many visitors.
Can Garrett succeed in this worthy goal?
If anybody in the numismatic field can, it is Garrett.