Skip to main content

Medal conference slated for Boston

The Medal Collectors of America and the Massachusetts Historical Society have teamed up to organize an unprecedented conference on medals and medal collecting Nov. 10 in Boston.


The theme, “Art and Memory: The Role of Medals,” was chosen to have wide appeal.

The event lasts all day from 8 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. at the historical society at 1154 Boylston Street.

Social events are added to provide some fun and to encourage discussion among medal collectors and others who are not yet collectors, all in an extraordinary location.

There will be a dinner after the day’s events at Brasserie JO from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

A the heart of the conference will be a series of presentations on the role medals have played in American history, the evolution of medallic art and the ways medals have reflected American culture up to the 21st century.

Presenters will include:

Len Augsburger, Coordinator, Newman Numismatic Portal, Washington University in St. Louis, will speak on the history of medal books.

Anne Bentley, Curator of Art & Artifacts, Massachusetts Historical Society, will speak on the Society’s extensive medal collection and its fascinating history.

Jonathan Brecher, co-author of “So-Called Dollars: An Illustrated Standard Catalogue,” will speak on So-Called Dollars as a reflection of 19th and early 20th century American culture.

Patrick McMahon, Director of Exhibitions, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, will speak on the early work of Victor David Brenner, sculptor of the Lincoln cent and many medals.

Alan Stahl, Curator of Numismatics, Princeton University, and previously curator for many years at the American Numismatic Society, will speak on the role of medals in American history.

In addition, two panel discussions will focus on the artistic beauty and collectability of medals. One panel discussion will cover the stylistic developments from Renaissance medallic art to contemporary art medals (“The Art of the Medal”).

The second panel will explore the individual passions that drive numismatists to build their unique collections (“Why Collect Medals?”). Panelists will include several noted numismatists: John W. Adams, Q. David Bowers, Cory Gilliland, Scott Miller, Ira Rezak, Rob Rodriguez, John Sallay and Stephen Scher.

Anne Bentley will also arrange a special exhibit of medals from the fabulous MHS collection, including the unique Comitia Americana set of silver medals presented by Thomas Jefferson on behalf of Congress to George Washington in 1790, the unique gold Manly medal, a silver Columbia and Washington medal, and many more rare and extraordinary pieces.
Registration for this conference is now open at Space is limited, and pre-registration will be required.

A cocktail reception at the MHS will conclude the conference in the late afternoon followed by an optional dinner at Brasserie JO, a celebrated French bistro just a 10-minute walk from the MHS.

There is a $75 per person conference fee, including lunch and the cocktail reception, with dinner afterward optional at an additional $95 per person.

See and for information about the two organizations.

Founded in 1791, the Massachusetts Historical Society is the nation’s first historical society and an invaluable resource for American history, life and culture. In addition to its incomparable numismatic holdings, the MHS collections are particularly well known for extensive holdings of personal papers from three presidents: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Thomas Jefferson.

Medal Collectors of America was founded in 1998.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

More Collecting Resources

• Start becoming a coin collector today with this popular course, Coin Collecting 101.

• Download The Metal Mania Seminar with David Harper to learn more about the metals market.