Smithsonian National Postal Museum Holds Holiday Card Workshop

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Postal Museum was bustling with visitors Saturday as the museum held its annual holiday card workshop.

Visitors of all ages attended the event, at which they could design their own holiday greeting cards.

NPM Attendees

As visitors entered the museum atrium, they started by choosing two pieces of cardstock, one large and one small. They then moved to embellish their cards with stickers, twine, and other materials available at the various craft stations. Visitors could sit at the tables in the atrium to assemble their cards with glue, scissors and other materials.

The museum’s Post Office was open for visitors to mail their cards affixed with the museum’s special postmark.

The museum also provided a photo booth for visitors to share their photos on social media using the hashtag #nationalpostalmuseum.

Sponge Bob MailboxIn addition to the card making, visitors had the opportunity to write holiday messages to families at The Children’s Inn, an organization that provides housing and support for families with children receiving care at the National Institutes of Health. Visitors wrote messages on Spongebob-themed postcards and deposited them in a special Spongebob-themed mailbox. Director of Education Matthew White said he saw both parents children deposit postcards.

Referring to the Spongebob postcards, Public Programs Manager Motoko Hioki noted in an email, “The letter writing set up is still there in the museum atrium…if anyone wants to participate in the letter writing, they are welcome to do so at the museum until Thursday, December 14th.”

The Postal Museum holds several public events throughout the year, including another card workshop around Valentine’s Day. Volunteer Coordinator Maggie Sigle said the museum also does letter writing campaigns around Veterans Day for Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends care packages and letters to U.S. troops and first responders.

Hioki, who organizes the museum’s public events, detailed their Wine and Design program, available as a once-a-month happy hour event. At these programs, people can come to the museum after hours and complete various postal-related arts and crafts. The events typically occur once a month.

Hioki was instrumental in starting the Wine and Design program at the museum. “People don’t write letters anymore,” she said. “Encouraging people to write is something important to me.”

The Postal Museum continues to provide educational activities for the general public to learn more about stamps, postal history, and the stamp collecting hobby. It is open seven days a week, from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm.

 by Tasos Kalfas, @TasosKalfasWRGW

All photos courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution National Postal Museum

Summit on the Future of Philately Oct. 28

The American Philatelic Society and the American Stamp Dealers Association will host an invited group of leaders from the philatelic community this Friday, October 28, for a “Summit on the Future of Philately.”

The summit will happen at the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania and the public session will be broadcast via the APS Facebook page. For people who have comments or questions that they want to share with the group can send them via e-mail to future@stamps.org.

The goal of the meeting is to discuss and develop actions for strengthening the hobby for years to come.

Below is the agenda for the Summit on the Future of Philately.  The call-in phone number is 888-537-7715 with a Passcode: 13291358#

Public Session – 12:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Expected Schedule
12:30 p.m. – 12:40 p.m.  Greeting and Overview
12:40 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.  Growing the Hobby
1:20 p.m. – 2 p.m.  The Future of Stamp Shows and Dealers
2 p.m. – 2:40 p.m.  Philatelic Partnerships
2:40  p.m. – 3 p.m.  Action Items and Report Back
3 p.m.  Adjourn

 

National Postal Museum Opens “From Royal Mail to Public Post” Exhibition

[NPM October 21 Press Release]

National Postal Museum Opens
“From Royal Mail to Public Post” Exhibition

Observing the 500th Anniversary of the United Kingdom’s Royal Mail

“From Royal Mail to Public Post” opened today, Oct. 21, at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum. The exhibition, open through Jan. 16, 2017, chronicles postal reform in the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom’s postal service, Royal Mail, observes its 500th anniversary in 2016. To mark the occasion, the National Postal Museum is presenting a temporary display of original documents from 1635 and 1840, pivotal years in the expansion and evolution of the country’s postal network. The exhibition includes the earliest known example of the world’s first stamp, the Penny Black, dated April 10, 1840, from the archives of leading British postal reformer Robert Wallace. These important documents chronicling postal reform in the United Kingdom are on loan from the private collection of British businessman and philatelist Alan Holyoake.

First Proof of Penny Postage Stamp Cover. Presented to Mr. [Robert] Wallace by the Right Honourable the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Francis Thornhill Baring, April 10, 1840. Loan from Alan Holyoake. Photo courtesy National Postal Museum.
First Proof of Penny Postage Stamp Cover. Presented to Mr. [Robert] Wallace by the Right Honourable the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Francis Thornhill Baring, April 10, 1840. Loan from Alan Holyoake. Photo courtesy National Postal Museum.
Continue reading “National Postal Museum Opens “From Royal Mail to Public Post” Exhibition”

Bill Gross to be Honored as Recipient of Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award

[Press Release]
Bill Gross to be Honored as Recipient of
Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award
National Postal Museum Cites Gross’s Philanthropy and World-Class Stamp Collections in Awarding Nation’s Most Prestigious Philatelic Honor

William H. Gross
William H. Gross.

NEWPORT BEACH, CA (Oct. 19, 2016) — The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum will award the 2016 Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award to Bill Gross and two other recipients on Oct. 22 at a museum-hosted gala event in Washington, D.C.

Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award
Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award.

The Smithsonian Award was established in 2002 to honor and celebrate living individuals for outstanding lifetime achievement in the field of philately. This achievement may include original research that significantly advances the understanding of philately, exceptional service to the philatelic community or sustained promotion of philately to the benefit of current and future collectors. In addition to Mr. Gross, recipients of the 2016 award include Cheryl R. Ganz and Richard F. Winter.

Richard F. Winter
Richard F. Winter.
Cheryl R. Ganz
Cheryl R. Ganz.

The selection of Mr. Gross is as much a reflection of his philanthropic activities on behalf of stamp collecting as it is for his world-class collection.

“There has never been anyone in philately as philanthropic as Bill, and he wanted to create something special, which he has,” said Charles Shreve of Robert A. Siegel International, Mr. Gross’s long-time philatelic advisor and dealer. “Without his gift there would have never been a new Smithsonian National Postal Museum, the finest in the world. Bill has contributed greatly to the general public’s view of collecting in a positive way.”

In addition to donations totaling $10.8 million to build the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery in the National Postal Museum, Mr. Gross and his wife Sue have donated almost $25 million from proceeds of the sales of Mr. Gross’s collection since 2007. Beneficiaries include the PIMCO Foundation, Doctors Without Borders, the Millennium Villages Project, the Hawaii Foodbank, The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund, and other charities.

“Stamp collecting has always been a means to an end for me,” said Mr. Gross, the portfolio manager responsible for managing Janus Capital Group’s Global Unconstrained Bond strategy. “There is the pleasure of the hobby itself, which has brought countless hours of satisfaction in researching the history behind these miniature works of art. And then there is the knowledge that the returns from my hobby have served a higher purpose in benefiting the less fortunate.”

Continue reading “Bill Gross to be Honored as Recipient of Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award”

Lennon and Mercury Stamp Albums at Stampex

The stamp collections of John Lennon and Freddie Mercury were shown together for the first time at Stampex (September 14–17) in London, England. Shown here are a few photos of the display at the show and also a close-up look at both of the albums.

[Smithsonian’s NPM press release]

John Lennon and Freddie Mercury Stamp Collections
On Display Together at UK’s STAMPEX

The UK’s largest stamp exhibition Stampex (September 14 – 17, 2016) is bringing together the boyhood stamp collections of music legends John Lennon and Freddie Mercury together for the first time to celebrate their 60th Anniversary.

Continue reading “Lennon and Mercury Stamp Albums at Stampex”