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.
[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
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.
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.
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.”
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.
[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.
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.