National Park Week 2017
Philatelic Reflections

As National Park Week in America concludes Sunday, many stamp collectors have reflected on the parks that have been so beautifully portrayed over the years on U.S. stamps.

Yellowstone National Park commemorative forever stamp issued in June 2016.

From Mike DePaz: The National Park Stamps from 2016 actually made me go to Yellowstone. I always wanted to see the buffaloes roaming free.

Bandalier National Monument commemorative forever stamp issued in June 2016.

From Melanie G. Rogers: The Bandalier National Monument stamp issued last year is special to me. I have visited that site.

10-cent Great Smoky Mountains commemorative stamp from 1934.

From Jeff Stage: The Great Smoky Mountains of 1934 always seemed pretty majestic to me. I easily remembered the stamp when I finally was able to visit there at the border of North Carolina and Tennessee.

Message in a bottle sent on the first day of issue for the 94-cent U.S. Virgin Islands airmail stamp issued in May 2008.

From Jay Bigalke: In May 2008, I traveled to the U.S. Virgin Islands for the first-day-of-issue ceremony for the St. John’s USVI airmail stamp (Scott C145). I wasn’t going to pass the opportunity up for creating cool souvenirs and I went all out. Taking advantage of the first-class parcel rate, I sent a message in a bottle to about 30 individuals complete with a drink umbrella, a rolled up message, and other island inspired decorations. Each bottle was franked with two of the new 94-cent stamps and received a first-day cancellation. The bottles then traveled through the mailstream to get to their destinations.

National Park Week 2017 and Stamps

This week, April 15–23, is National Park Week in America! Many parks have been featured on United States stamps throughout the years.

We are encouraging you to share a description of your favorite National Park related stamp issue in the comments part of the blog below and we’ll recap some of the favorites, and include a few of our own, near the end of this week.

Mystery: Alexander Hamilton, a Missing Painting, and a 1957 U.S. Postage Stamp

Alexander Hamilton, a 1957 U.S. postage stamp, and the American Philatelic Society and one of its editorial contributors are all part of a mystery story published today in the New York Times.

Charles Posner is an emeritus professor at the University of London’s Institute of Education. His articles about U.S. commemorative stamps of the 1950s have been appearing in print, online, and now in book form through APS publications the past two years.

Posner was recently researching a 3-cent stamp issued in 1957 that features a profile of Hamilton and Federal Hall. The profile shown on the stamp is based on a painting by someone named John Weimar, Posner said. The painting was once held and exhibited at New York City Hall. But while researching the painting, Posner said no one at New York City Hall today could account for it.

His inquiries led City Hall officials to search for the painting, and further led to curators questioning whether the obscure Weimar existed or could it be confused with a painting by John Trumbull, the famous painter of many historical figures and scenes.

One thing is for sure. The original painting is nowhere to be found.

New York Times arts reporter James Barron shares the whole tale, including interviews with Posner and City Hall officials in his story published today. Barron also is author of a recent book about the world’s most valuable (and famous) stamp, The One-Cent Magenta: Inside the Quest to Own the Most Valuable Stamp in the World.

Hamilton, of course, is of the iconic 18th-century Founding Fathers of the United States and recently became the hottest ticket on Broadway thanks to the hit musical that bears his name. And now, he’s subject an art mystery.

APS Announces Dealer Advisory Council Results

Today, the American Philatelic Society released the results of the first-ever Dealer Advisory Council. The APS Board of Directors created the Council at its December 6, 2016 meeting to:

Serve as an advisory group to the APS Board of Directors and staff on matters that impact the dealer community, including show locations, membership initiatives, and growth of the hobby.

The Council will be made up of: APS Vice President Trish Kaufmann, APS Dealer Representative Eric Jackson, Kim Kellerman (Rasdale Stamps), Roy DeLafosse (Roy E. DeLafosse, Ltd.), Irving Miller (Miller’s Stamp Company), Telah Smith (Telah W. Smith), Bob Sazama (Robert M. Sazama), and Jim Dempsey (A&D Stamp & Coins). Mark Reasoner, President, American Stamp Dealers Association and Dick Kostka, President, National Stamp Dealers Association will serve as ex officio members of the Council.

“Stamp dealers have a unique view within our hobby from recognizing market trends to building personal relationships with collectors of all walks,” said APS President Mick Zais, “They have invested in the long-term health of the hobby and on behalf of the Board, we thank the candidates for their leadership.”

APS Vice President Trish Kaufmann, the only dealer serving on the APS Board, will be the Chair of the Dealer Advisory Council. “The APS and its membership is one of the strongest forces in the health of the hobby. The Council will work to identify, prioritize, and offer specific recommendations to the Board to help improve the market,” Kaufmann stated.

“As a dealer, I want to thank the APS Board for taking several great steps to bring dealers to the table. It won’t be easy work, but I’m sure dealers are ready and able to do their part.” added APS Dealer Representative Eric Jackson.

The first meeting of the Council will be in May. Date and call-in information will be provided, along with an agenda and meeting minutes for APS members. For more information, contact Scott English, Executive Director at scott@stamps.org or 814-933-3814.

Robert Panara Stamp – Distinguished American

Robert Panara (Distinguished Americans series)
Robert Panara (Distinguished Americans series)

Robert Panara (1920-2014), an influential teacher and a pioneer in the field of deaf studies, will be honored with a new stamp formally issued April 11. It is a nondenominated two-ounce forever stamp with a current value of 70 cents.

A first-day ceremony will start at 10 a.m. in the Robert F. Panara Theatre at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, where Panara taught for 20 years. The institute is part of the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.

The 16th stamp in the Distinguished Americans series features a 2009 photograph of Panara shown signing the word “respect.” During his 40-year teaching career, Panara inspired generations of students with his powerful use of American Sign Language. Panara taught at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. for nearly 20 years and at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf another 20.

During his teaching career, Panara, a Bronx native, inspired generations of students, and his powerful use of American Sign Language to convey Shakespeare and other works of literature, made him much beloved and respected by students and colleagues alike.

Panara, who passed away in July 2014 at the age of 94, was an avid poet, and lover of Shakespeare and theater, according to the institute’s website. Panara’s poem “On His Deafness,” written in 1946, has been reprinted many times and won first prize in the World of Poetry contest in 1988. A biography of Panara states that the poem is about “how deaf people can ‘hear’ with an ‘inner ear’ of imagination.”

Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamp with an existing photograph by Mark Benjamin, official photographer of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.