Financial History Issue 113 (Spring 2015) - Page 11

MUSEUM NEWS   THE TICKER Volunteer Spotlight: Mark Anderson One of the Museum’s most valuable assets is its network of experts in various areas of finance and economic history. One of these experts is Mark Anderson, who volunteers his time as a numismatic consultant. A career banker and now consultant, Mark became interested in currency at the age of 11, when he received a small five peseta note in change on a bus in Spain. Equivalent at the time to about 7.5 cents US, but artfully engraved, he inquired about it, and the bus driver produced several other pieces of beautiful small change notes, in denominations of as little as one peseta [1.4 cents US at the time]. Unlike US currency, Spanish currency designs and portraiture changed every few years, and many of the beautiful but demonetized bank notes issued before the Spanish Civil War could be acquired for pennies. A modest allowance let him build an interesting and representative collection. College exposed Mark to the study of economics, instilling in him a life-long love of fiscal and economic history, and as he continued to collect, he went on to a 22-year career at European American Bank (EAB) and, later, EAB’s acquirer, Citibank [in 2001]. A later phase, working at auction house RM Smythe, offered him the opportunity to become better acquainted with the Museum through its founder, John Herzog. At the Museum, Mark has consulted on a variety of projects, from fielding research and media requests to assisting with exhibitions. A guest curator of the Museum’s new “America in Circulation” exhibit, he has also spoken at events in the Lunch and Learn Series. Over time, Mark’s collecting interests have broadened, but he still finds the study of paper money a recurring preference. “Paper money has never had the intrinsic value that traditionally made people willing to use coins. The only rationale for its manufacture and employ is people’s belief that the promises written upon it will be kept. That trust is unique to humankind, and noble to boot.” Mark’s interests in economics, finance and history dovetail in his activities at the Museum. “Any country or community’s history is ultimately an economic history, and that story is best told by its objects. Going back to the time before Christ, few objects are more informative than a people’s financial instruments. The Museum uses this approach to tell the history of North America, beginning with wampum and pieces of eight. Whether you are interested in how markets work or how they have evolved, how our economy functions and what drives it, what our money says about us and what it used to say about us, there is no better place to learn about these things than the Museum. The Museum’s mission is not just very important, particularly in this town, but it is unique.”  SPRING 2015 EVENTS Apr 21 Evening Lecture: Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz on The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them. Talk followed by Q&A, book signing and reception. 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. $15 admission; members and students free. Apr 29 Lunch and Learn: Harley Spiller – the “Inspector Collector” – on Keep the Change: A Collector’s Tales of Lucky Pennies, Counterfeit C-Notes, and Other Curious Currency. Talk followed by Q&A and book signing. 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. $5 includes Museum