WHAT: The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum invites media to a special preview of the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery—the world’s largest stamp gallery.
WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 17
WHERE: National Postal Museum
2 Massachusetts Ave. N.E. (next door to Union Station)
NOTE: Enter via First Street and Massachusetts Avenue
WHO: Allen Kane, director, National Postal Museum, Cheryl Ganz, lead philatelic curator, National Postal Museum, Daniel Piazza, philatelic curator, National Postal Museum
The William H. Gross Stamp Gallery, opening Sunday, Sept. 22, is the largest stamp gallery in the world and the only one to show stamps and mail in the context of American history and culture.
Among the gems on display: a cover postmarked on the moon in 1971; a watch worn by a sea clerk aboard Titanic; one of two 1868 1-cent Z-grill stamps in existence (with the image of Benjamin Franklin, the nation’s first postmaster); a letter addressed to John Hancock postmarked July 4, 1776; stamps depicting kings of Hawaii before it became a state; and the icon of the Smithsonian’s stamp collection—the Inverted Jenny—will be shown along with other stamps from America and around the world.
As visitors move through seven thematic areas, stunning displays and high-tech interactive displays reveal the stories behind the collections. Custom-made pull-out frames hold more than 20,000 objects, including noteworthy stamps that have never been on public display.
A wall of windows overlooking Massachusetts Avenue, depicting 54 colorful U.S. stamps, provides a dramatic nighttime glow and is a preview of what is inside the National Postal Museum.
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