United Nations Issue Could Create Wordiest Stamps Ever

A planned United Nations souvenir sheet designed to honor a world record might set a world record of its own, thanks to microprinting and a lot of words.

The United Nations Postal Administration will formally issue this souvenir sheet October 27 at the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. The UNPA will have a sales booth at the two-day show. (Publicity image courtesy of UNPA.)

The three-stamp souvenir sheet pays tribute to the Translation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Passing the 500 Mark. (The declaration was drafted on December 10, 1948 and has been translated into 503 languages at last count. Guinness World Records recognizes it as the world’s most translated document.)

The sheet will be formally issued in October 27 on the first day of the two-day United Nations Stamp and Postal History Show, UNExpo 17, at the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.

The sheet has one stamp each denominated in U.S., Swiss, and Austrian currency. Those countries are home to the U.N.’s three main headquarters. Each stamp has a title in different languages, but includes the entire text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its preamble in English. (Here’s where another world record may be set!)

Malli Hui, of the U.N. Postal Administration, noted that the document, unofficially, has 1,778 words! Those words are spread across 60 lines of microprinting on each stamp. Blow it up big enough and the words are legible. The stamp will likely be eligible for world-record status once it is formally issued. (Side note: the German and English titles at the top are both five words, the French title is six.)

The current record for words on a stamp is 606 for a 2014 International Women’s Day stamp from Belgium in 2014, according to the Guinness World Records website.

A first-day ceremony will be part of the show that will bring together U.N. philatelists from all over. The show will feature exhibits, seminars, presentations, meetings, and dealers.

The souvenir sheet, which has not been produced, will be printed in offset with microprinting and silver foil, Hui said.

At the left is an image of Eleanor Roosevelt holding up the original document featuring the 30 Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A swirling grid pattern and bleeding muted hues from yellow to blue tie the historic photo to the stamps, giving it a modern feel. The words “United Nations Expo 2017 Pennsylvania, USA” are at the bottom left.

The photo shown was taken November 1, 1949 during Roosevelt’s visit to the U.N. headquarters, which at the time was in the former Sperry Gyroscope factory in Lake Success (Long Island), New York. Roosevelt served as the first chair of the U.N.’s Commission on Human Rights and helped draft the declaration, which was proclaimed on December 10, 1948, by the United Nations General Assembly meeting in Paris.

For more information about the show, visit https://stamps.org/UNExpo17. For more information about current U.N. stamps, visit https://unstamps.org/.

Minnesota Stamp Expo Begins Friday

The Minnesota Stamp Expo brings three days of philately to the upper Midwest beginning Friday, July 21. The show will be held at the Crystal Community Center, 4800 Douglas Drive North, Crystal, Minnesota, just northwest of Minneapolis.

The show theme is the Total Solar Eclipse, which will occur August 21 across the United States.

The Minnesota Stamp Expo is part of the annual World Series of Philately and will attract several national-level philatelic exhibits.

More than two dozen dealers will be at the show, as will the U.S. Postal Service (Friday and Saturday only). Philatelic groups on hand will include the American Topical Association, the Northern Philatelic Library, and the Scandinavian Collectors Club.

Jay Bigalke, editor of the The American Philatelist, will represent the American Philatelic Society at the show.

A Boy Scout merit badge activity and youth activities are planned.

The show is sponsored by four groups: the Twin City Philatelic Society, the Lake Minnetonka Stamp Club, Maplewood Stamp Club, and Minnesota Stamp Dealers Association.

The show opens at 10 a.m. each day and closes at 6 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday. More information can be found at the show website, www.stampsminnesota.com.

Elliot Gruber Named Director of
Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum

Elliot Gruber, the chief development and external affairs officer for the Jewish Social Service Agency, has been named director of the National Postal Museum.

Gruber has more than 30 years experience in the nonprofit sector and will begin as director on September 5. He succeeds Allen Kane, who retired in January, as director of the museum. Marshall Emery has served as acting director of the museum since then.

“Elliot brings great and relevant experience to the directorship of the National Postal Museum,” said Smithsonian Secretary David Skorton. “His skills as a museum leader and his fundraising acumen make him an excellent choice to lead this important museum into its next chapter.”

“I am proud to have been selected to lead the National Postal Museum, which tells the story of our American journey, past, present and future,” Gruber said. “I look forward to using my experience to work with the museum’s staff, advisory council and the Council of Philatelists to build new partnerships within the Smithsonian, across the country and around the world.”

As chief development and external affairs officer for the Jewish Social Service Agency since January, Gruber is responsible for the organization’s philanthropic revenue, marketing and communications. Under his leadership, the agency launched a $6 million capital campaign to renovate one of its buildings in the Washington, D.C., area. The Jewish Social Service Agency is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, client-focused health and social service agency helping individuals and families meet emotional social and physical challenges for more than 120 years.

Before joining the Jewish Social Service Agency, Gruber was a principal at EHG Consulting, which provides strategic planning and operations and fundraising expertise to nonprofit organizations. Gruber worked with the Houston Maritime Museum, which is preparing to launch a $50 million capital campaign for its new facility scheduled to open in 2020. He also conducted a comprehensive review and analysis of the organizational and fundraising structure for Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.

Gruber was the president and chief executive officer of The Mariners’ Museum and Park in Newport News, Virginia, from February 2013 through April 2016. There, he managed a $7 million annual budget, 550 acres of parkland and a staff of 90. He also established the Monitor Foundation, a nonprofit organization overseeing the largest marine metals conservation lab in the world, to ensure continued conservation of the ironclad steamship the USS Monitor, which was built by the U.S. Navy during the Civil War.

From September 2010 until January 2013, Gruber was the senior vice president for resource development for the United Way of the National Capital Area. He was responsible for all fundraising programs, including the Greater Washington Give to the Max Day, which in its inaugural year raised more than $2 million in 24 hours.

Gruber was the vice president and chief operating officer of the Gettysburg Foundation (August 2002 to September 2010) where he directed the $125 million capital campaign to build a new museum and visitor center at Gettysburg National Military Park. He oversaw all museum operations, including ticketing, reservations, visitor services, and facilities management.

He has also worked in leadership capacities at the Ocean Conservancy, the Civil War Trust and the National Parks Conservation Association.

Gruber received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, and his master’s degree in organizational psychology from Columbia University in New York City.

The National Postal Museum is dedicated to the preservation, study and presentation of postal history and philately. The museum uses exhibits, educational public programs and research to showcase the largest and most comprehensive collection of stamps and philatelic material in the world — including postal stationery, vehicles used to transport the mail, mailboxes, meters, cards and letters and postal materials that predate the use of stamps — and make this rich history available to scholars, philatelists, collectors and visitors from around the world.

The museum occupies more than 100,000 square feet of the historic City Post Office Building, with 35,000 square feet devoted to exhibition galleries.

Wyeth Celebrated With 12 New Stamps

Twelve new Andrew Wyeth commemorative forever stamps will debut this Wednesday, July 12, nationwide. The stamps celebrate the centennial of his birth.

A first-day-of-issue ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. at the The Brandywine River Museum of Art, 1 Hoffmans Mill Road, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. The public may RSVP online at usps.com/awyeth.

Expected to participate in the ceremony are Andrew Wyeth’s son Jamie Wyeth; U.S. Postal Service Senior Director and Chief of Staff to the Postmaster General Patrick Mendonca; and The Frolic Weymouth Executive Director and CEO, The Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art Virginia A. Logan.

The Postal Service provided this additional information about the stamp issue:

This pane of 12 Forever stamps celebrates the centennial of the birth of Andrew Wyeth (July 12, 1917 – Jan. 16, 2009), one of the most prominent American artists of the 20th century. Working in a realistic style that defied artistic trends, Wyeth created haunting and enigmatic paintings based largely on people and places in his life, a body of work that continues to resist easy or comfortable interpretation.

 

This issuance includes stamps that each features a detail from a different Andrew Wyeth painting. The paintings are: “Wind from the Sea” (1947), “Big Room” (1988), “Christina’s World” (1948), “Alvaro and Christina” (1968), “Frostbitten” (1962), “Sailor’s Valentine” (1985), “Soaring” (1942–1950), “North Light” (1984), “Spring Fed” (1967), “The Carry” (2003), “Young Bull” (1960), and “My Studio” (1974). The selvage, or area outside of the stamp images, shows a photograph of Wyeth from the 1930s. Art director Derry Noyes of Washington, DC, designed the pane.

Five Final Images Conclude Five-Year Canadian Photography Series

Iconic images from distinguished photographers appear on five Canadian Photography stamps issued July 5 by Canada Post.

The domestic-rate permanent stamps feature photographs from Claire Beaugrand-Champagne, Robert Bourdeau, Gilbert Duclos, Samuel McLaughlin, and William James Topley.

The stamps are part five of a five-year series and are being issued in booklets of 10. Also, there are two souvenir sheets (one with three domestic-rate stamps, the other with two). As with all issues in 2017, the stamps contain a special Canada 150 feature. With these stamps, the Canada 150 logo repeats across the bottom and top of the stamps in taggant, which is visible only in ultraviolet light.

Here is a summary of the photographs on the stamps, including the artist’s title, the year and location, appearing on the stamps:

Beaugrand-Champagne: “Ti-Noir Lajeunesse,” [“The Blind Violinist, Disraeli”], Quebec, 1972. Beaugrand-Champagne was Quebec’s first female press photographer, well known for her documentary images of people who have served as powerful reflections of society.

Robert Bourdeau: “Ontario, Canada,” 1989. Bourdeau built a reputation for producing images taken with large-format cameras. His photographs are found in major collections in Canada and the United States. His work focuses on the revealing details of subjects ranging from traditional landscapes to architecture and still life.

Gilbert Duclos: “Enlacées,” Montreal, 1994. Duclos has focused his lens on scenes that reflect his passion for street humanism. Throughout his career as a professional photographer, his photographic series have depicted many of the Western world’s cities. His work has been featured in numerous publications and exhibitions. His portrait of jazz pianist Oscar Peterson was on a stamp Canada Post issued in 2005.

Samuel McLaughlin: “Construction of the Parliament Buildings, Centre Block,” circa 1862. McLaughlin became the province of Canada’s first official photographer in 1861. He published Canada’s first photographic collection: The Photographic Portfolio (1858-60), an impressive documentation of several Canadian public work projects, including the construction of the Parliament buildings.

William James Topley: “Sir John A. Macdonald,” circa 1883. Topley left a visual record of the first 50 years after Confederation, which include captivating portraits of Canada’s early political leaders. He learned the art of photography early from his mother, joined the William Notman Studio in Montreal for three years and later took over a branch office in Ottawa.

The stamps were printed by Canadian Bank Note and designed by Stéphane Huot.