The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum has selected two firms to create the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery: the exhibit-design firm Gallagher & Associates of Silver Spring, Md., and the architectural and historic preservation firm Cho Benn Holback + Associates of Baltimore.
Gallagher & Associates will be responsible for translating the curatorial selection of stamps, objects and information into exciting displays and exhibits for the public in the multimillion dollar expansion. The firm will bring the stories of stamps and mail to life by using interactives, graphics, signage and educational tools, which will allow visitors to explore and interpret these new objects on exhibit.
Gallagher & Associates is a professional design-services firm serving clients throughout the United States and abroad. The firm creates successful visitor experiences through museum master planning and exhibition design, brand development and media programming. Its recent projects include the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta and the Sant Ocean Hall at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.
Cho Benn Holback, as the architectural firm, has the challenge of transforming the infrastructure of the 12,000-square-foot historic lobby of the old post office and the gallery into a fully functional exhibition space, while maintaining the historic character of the building.
The 30-year-old design firm specializes in institutional projects, with a focus on museums and visitors’ centers where it has extensive experience in collaboration with exhibit designers. In addition, the firm is highly experienced in historic preservation. Recent projects include the Jim Rouse Visionary Center at the American Visionary Art Museum, historic renovation for the Everyman Theatre and continued collaboration with artists at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum.
“We are excited to work with these two companies in order to create and build one of the largest stamp galleries in the world—the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery,” said Allen Kane, director of the museum. “These excellent organizations will enable the museum to display the stories of America’s history, heritage and heroes on stamps.”
The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing the largest and most comprehensive collection of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Ave. N.E., in the Old City Post Office Building across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information visit the museum’s Web site at postalmuseum.si.edu.
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