Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum Director Allen Kane to Retire

[Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum press release]

Allen Kane, Director of the National Postal Museum (NPM) will be retiring in January 2017.  Allen became director of the NPM in 2002 after serving more than 30 years with the United States Postal Service (USPS) in a variety of senior leadership positions.  At the USPS, one of the accomplishments of which Allen is proudest was his management of the Gulf War Crisis Team, which ensured the successful delivery of 2.5 million pounds of mail per day to US troops.

National Postal Museum.
Image courtesy of Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum. Photo by Juan Carlos Briceño.

In his fourteen-year tenure at the Postal Museum, Allen has overseen many remarkable exhibitions and public programs while also making the museum a world-renowned research resource.  His most notable accomplishment was the development and opening of the William H. Gross Gallery in 2013, which doubled the size of the Museum and made the NPM the largest center for philately in the world.

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Nativity Stamp November 3 Nationwide

Nativity forever stamp
Nativity forever stamp

The United States Nativity forever stamp will be issued November 3 nationwide. The first-day-of-issue ceremony is at 12:15 p.m. at St. John’s Church, Lafayette Square, 1525 H Street N.W., Washington, D.C.

The stamp art depicts a peaceful yet powerful image of the Holy Family silhouetted against the dawn sky. The baby Jesus lies in a straw-filled manger in the center of the picture with Mary kneeling to the right and Joseph standing to the left holding a lantern with a bright star over the scene. Illustrator Nancy Stahl worked under the art direction of Greg Breeding of Charlottesville, Virginia, to create the stamp image.

New Hanukkah Stamp Debuts Nov. 1

Hanukkah forever stamp
Hanukkah forever stamp

The United States Hanukkah forever stamp will be issued nationwide November 1. The first-day-of-issue ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. at the Temple Beth El of Boca Raton, 333 S.W. Fourth Ave., Boca Raton, Florida.

The new Hanukkah stamp features a warm, elegant illustration of a holiday menorah in the window of a home. Artist William Low added visual interest to the scene by highlighting the contrast between the hot candle flames and the cool snow, the vertical candles and the horizontal window frame, and the dark menorah with brightly lit candles. Ethel Kessler was the art director.

Canada Issues New Hockey Stamps Sept. 23

Great Canadian Forwards souvenir sheet.
Great Canadian Forwards souvenir sheet.

Canada celebrates its hockey heroes with a booklet of six, a souvenir sheet, and international rate souvenir sheets, honoring great NHL goal scorers. The stamps were issued September 23. An unveiling took place at the Esso Great Hall at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Ontario.

The Great Canadian Forwards stamp lineup includes: Phil Esposito (Boston Bruins), Guy Lafleur (Montreal Canadiens), Darryl Sittler (Toronto Maple Leafs), Mark Messier (Edmonton Oilers), Steve Yzerman (Detroit Red Wings), and Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins). Five of the six individuals were in attendance at the unveiling event that was broadcast live on Canada Post’s Facebook page.

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New Madonna and Child Stamp Oct. 18

United States Florentine Madonna and Child forever stamp.
United States Florentine Madonna and Child forever stamp.

The United States Florentine Madonna and Child forever stamp will be issued October 18 nationwide. The first-day-of-issue ceremony will take place at noon at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, 2 Massachusetts Ave., N.E., Washington, D.C. (across from Union Station).

This Christmas stamp features a detail of Madonna and Child, a 15th-century tempra-on-panel painting in the Widener Collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The painting is dated to circa 1470, and its anonymous artist is known only as “a Follower of Fra Filippo Lippi and Pesellino.” William Gicker of Washington, D.C., was the art director for the stamp.