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  • Sid Richardson Collection of Western ArtSid Richardson Collection of Western Art Ft. Worth, Texas
    Sid Williams Richardson was a cattleman, oilman and philanthropist who was well known for his favorite city in Texas, Fort Worth, and this marvelous collection was one of his ways of showing it. He was originally a native of Athens, Texas, who went to Baylor University and Simmons College from 1910 to 1912 and borrowing money, he and his business partner, Clint Murchison went on to make a million dollars in the oil business during the period from 1919 to 1920 and had to watch it all go away when oil prices dropped and the market fell apart, until it started up again in 1933. He was president of the Sid Richardson Gasoline Co. of Kermit, the Sid Richardson Carbon Company of Odessa and Sid W. Richardson Inc. in Fort Worth, as well as being a partner in the Fort Worth company, Richardson and Bass Oil Producers. He started ranching in the 1930s and soon acquired a deep interest and infatuation with Western art, especially that of Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell. He soon had one of the biggest private collections of these magnificent artists' works and opened the Sid Richardson Collection of Western Art in 1982. In 2006, after a year of restoration, it opened as the Sid Richardson Museum. Sid had given many scholarships and generous gifts to local organizations, when his friend, Amon G. Carter talked him into starting the Sid W. Richardson Foundation in 1947. This wonderful foundation gives grants to many Texas organizations that relate to health, culture, education and human services, but the human services and cultural facilities need to be in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The foundation shares the building that houses the museum. In 1959, when he passed on, Sid, a bachelor, left the majority of his estate to the foundation and many millions of dollars to his nephew-partner, Perry Bass. Sid named John B. Connally, future state governor, co-executor of the estate, giving Connally a good steady income for many years to come. The museum has become one of the best and most focused collection of western art highlighting the works of Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell and other artists, whose works reflect the art and reality of the west. It continues to get about 50,000 visitors every year.  Sid began collecting with the assistance of the Newhouse Galleries of New York City, who would eventually become his main dealer and assisted him in collecting the majority of his wonderful paintings. Men like Sid Richardson, his friend Amon Carter, Frank Phillips, Thomas Gilcrease and R. W. Norton, all oilmen, would help many generations learn about the western legends that included these freewheeling tycoons through their fantastic collections. Sid didn't limit his collecting to just Russell and Remington, but would become a buyer of artists of great western landscapes by Thomas Moran and Albert Bierstadt. He also acquired art by Paul Kane, George Catlin, Karl Bodmer, Alfred Jacob Miller and Charles Wilmar; as well as some not too well known 19th century artists like Peter Moran, Gilbert Gaul and Charles F. Browne. He did enjoy action or suspenseful paintings so began collecting works by Oscar E Berninghaus, Frank Tenney Johnson, Charles Schreyvogel, Edwin W. Deming and William R. Leigh, presently exhibited in the museum. While the museum doesn't have an active acquisitions program, it does get new works, usually through the foundation which had picked up four more paintings since Sid passed on. These include; Remington's "Among the Led Horses" and "The Love Call", which were painted in 1909; and the museum now holds four of the last 17 oil paintings by Remington in his last show.

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  • Bureau of Engraving and PrintingBureau of Engraving and Printing Fort Worth, Texas
    The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is the government agency that is part of the Department of Treasury that designs and makes the security products of the government, most importantly of which is the making of paper currency for the Federal Reserve. The reserve is not an agency of the government, but an enigma called a semi-bank that acts as the central bank of the United States. Besides paper money, the BEP makes treasury securities, invitations and admission cards, military award certificated and commissions, various ID forms, cards and other types of security documents for many of the government's agencies. This agency doesn't make coins, those are made by the US Mint. The two production buildings are located in Washington, DC and Fort Worth, Texas, and the bureau is the biggest producer of government security docs in the nation. The bureau was started in reaction to the need for more money to fund the Civil War, since paper currency could be printed for staggering amounts, rather than carrying around hundreds of pounds of gold or silver. In July 1861, Congress authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to begin issuing paper currency, becoming government IOUs and called demand notes, which meant that you could walk into a bank and demand gold or silver coins instead of the paper. The government didn't have any way to mass produce paper money, so that hired a private firm to do it for them, making sheets of four bills per sheet, and then sending the sheets to the treasury department where hundreds of people would cut the sheets and then trim the notes by hand. As more and more paper works were needed, the treasury soon became overwhelmed and Congress created the Office of Comptroller of the Currency and National Currency Bureau in 1863. The agency was called many things until 1874, when the Bureau of Engraving and Printing was created. Many types of documents were made by the bureau, and it wasn't long before they would become involved in the printing of postage stamps, which happened in 1894.

January 11, 2011