In Memoriam

Richard G. Doty

Richard G. Doty

Richard G. Doty, 1942 – 2013

Richard (Dick) Doty, of McLean, Va., senior numismatic curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, died on June 2 after battling lymphoma. Born in Portland, Ore., in 1942, Doty earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Portland State University in 1964 and went on to receive a doctorate in Latin-American studies from the University of Southern California in 1968.

Doty began his professional career as a teacher. From 1967 to 1970 he was an assistant professor of United States and Latin American History and Studies at Central College in Pella, Iowa. He also served as an assistant professor of Latin American and World History, York College, City University of New York (1970-71) and as an assistant professor of United States and Latin American History at the University of Guam (1971-73). Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Doty worked at the American Numismatic Society in New York City from 1974 to 1986, where he served as curator of the Modern Coins and Currency Department.

At his death, Doty was the senior numismatic curator with the National Numismatic Collection at NMAH. After joining the staff in 1986, he revolutionized numismatic research by illustrating the human relationships reflected in the objects he thoughtfully analyzed. Doty shunned the rarified, traditional history told by many of his predecessors in favor of highlighting what numismatic artifacts could teach about the lives of everyday people. He published several books, including his most recent, Pictures from a Distant Country: Seeing America through Old Paper Money (2013). Doty’s other books include America’s Money, America’s Story (2008); The Token: America’s Other Money (editor, 1994); The Macmillan Encyclopedic Dictionary of Numismatics (1982); Paper Money of the World (1977); and Coins of the World (1976).

Doty’s passion for telling the stories behind the objects led him to devote 13 years to studying how inventor and minter Mathew Bolton pioneered the use of steam power to make coins and then spread his technology around the world. This research led to Doty’s groundbreaking work The Soho Mint & the Industrialization of Money, published in 1998.

Doty received numerous honors and awards during his prolific career, most notably, a Fulbright Fellowship to the University of Madrid, Spain; a Mexican Government Fellowship for study in Mexico City and Guadalajara; the Del Amo Foundation Fellowship for research in Spain, the Millennial Award Medal of the Royal Numismatic Society; the Huntington Award from the American Numismatic Society and the Lifetime Achievement Award from ANA.

Doty was the founding President of ICOMON, the International Committee for Money and Banking Museums. He advocated for the importance of numismatic collections in society—as tools for teaching world history and important artifacts of material culture deserving of preservation and analysis.

Doty is survived by his wife, Cindi Roden, of McLean, and an international community of friends and colleagues.


Marvin S. Sadik and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., at Bowdoin College.

Marvin S. Sadik and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., at Bowdoin College.

Marvin S. Sadik, 1932 – 2013

Marvin Sherwood. Sadik, former director of The National Portrait Gallery, passed away on May 29, in Falmouth, Maine. The son of Florence and Harry Sadik, he was born in Springfield, Mass., on June 27, 1932. After graduating cum laude from Harvard University in 1954, he went on to receive a Master of Arts degree from Harvard in 1960; he also received an honorary doctorate of fine arts degree from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 1978.

Sadik began his art career as a curatorial assistant at the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, Mass. He went on to serve as director of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, where he fell in love with the state of Maine. In 1964, Sadik became the director of Museum of Art at the University of Connecticut and in 1969; he was appointed director of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, in Washington, D.C., where he served until 1981.

During his career, Sadik received many awards including the Detur Prize from Harvard, the Maine State Art Award, decoration as a knight of Denmark’s Order Dannebrog and the Secretary’s Gold Medal for Exceptional Service from the Smithsonian. Among his many achievements during his career, he was especially proud of the exhibition, “The Portrayal of the Negro in American Painting” at Bowdoin, which was attended by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.; his legacy of expanding the collections and promoting the National Portrait Gallery; and his work on the 1973 campaign to establish the National Museum of the American Indian. In addition, he has found time to serve on the advisory committees of the Archives of American Art and of the Charles Willson Peale Papers, as well as being on the editorial board of the American Art Journal and the Council of the American Association of Museums.

After 12 years at the Smithsonian, Sadik returned to Maine, where he incorporated a gallery, Marvin Sadik Fine Arts. He also was active in state and national politics, numbering among his friends former senator, vice-presidential candidate and Secretary of State Edmund Muskie; Associate Justice of the Supreme Court William O. Douglas and former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell. He was an early supporter of former President Bill Clinton and presented him with an original photograph of Abraham Lincoln by Alexander Hesler.

Sadik is survived by cousins Jonathan Kappel of Needham, Mass., and Nancy Goldsmith of Longmeadow, Mass.; and close friends James Arsenault, June Fitzpatrick, Larry Hayden, Philip Isaacson, Ross Levett, and Bevinn O’Brien, all of Maine. The family would also like to acknowledge the friendship and support of Ann Quinlin and Gina Reed.

Posted: 5 June 2013
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