Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum Hosting the 10th Annual Sundman Lecture: “The Art of the Stamp”

Saturday, Nov. 10, 1 to 3 p.m.
Press Release

The National Postal Museum’s 2012 Maynard Sundman Lecture will focus on the art, process and philosophy of contemporary stamp design, featuring speakers from the stamp-designing and collecting community. Speakers include Citizen Stamp Advisory Committee member Janet Klug, U.S. Postal Service art director and designer Antonio Alcalá, artist Kam Mak, painter Howard Koslow and photographer Sally Andersen-Bruce. Each speaker will share insights on the design process from the origins of an idea for a stamp to the special challenges of creating artwork for a stamp. More information about the speakers and the stamps they have designed is available at Sundman Lecture.

The Maynard Sundman Lecture Series was established in 2002 through a donation by his sons, David and Donald. The lectures feature talks by authors and experts on stamps and stamp collecting.

Audience members will have an opportunity to have philatelic items from their collections, including stamps and first-day covers, signed by the speakers following the lecture presentations. Current stamps will be available at the USPS Stamp Store in the museum, and other philatelic items will be available from stamp dealers on the upper level in the Historic Lobby where the American Stamp Dealers Association stamp show will be held on the same day. Light refreshments will be served following the lecture, allowing visitors to converse and meet fellow stamp art enthusiasts, members of the museum staff and the museum’s Council of Philatelists.

Klug is a lifelong stamp collector who “never met a stamp she didn’t like.” Beginning at age six, Janet has formed worldwide collections and specialized ones of the Kingdom of Tonga and the British Commonwealth occupation of Japan after World War II, the Malayan Emergency, Samoa and some “fun” exhibits. She has served as president of the American Philatelic Society, the world’s largest organization for stamp collectors, and as vice-chair of the National Postal Museum’s Council of Philatelists, chair of the National Postal Museum’s New Initiatives Committee and a member of the USPS’s Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee.

Alcalá graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts in history and from the Yale School of Art with a Master of Fine Arts in graphic design. After working as a book designer and freelance graphic designer, Alcalá opened Studio A in 1988. Since then his studio has won awards of excellence in design from local, national and international design institutions, including AIGA, Print, Communication Arts and Graphis. His clients include the National Gallery of Art, National Postal Museum, Library of Congress, Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and others. Alcalá is an adjunct faculty member of the Corcoran College of Art + Design and is a past president of the Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington. He is also responsible for the design of U.S. postage stamps as an art director for the USPS.

Alcalá’s work and contributions to the field of graphic design were recognized with his selection as the 2008 AIGA Fellow, Washington, D.C., chapter. In 2011, Alcalá was nominated for two National Design Awards from the Cooper-Hewitt Museum. His work is represented in the AIGA Design Archives and the Library of Congress Permanent Collection of Graphic Design.

Koslow has been commissioned to create paintings that can be seen at the U.S. Air Force Academy, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and the NASA Art Gallery at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The National Park Service has also commissioned paintings for its historical art collections. Since designing his first stamp commemorating the Antarctic Treaty in 1971, Koslow has designed more than 50 U.S. postage stamps. Koslow’s previous projects for the USPS include eight 1940s’ “Celebrate the Century” stamps, four stamps featuring jazz/blues singers (1994) and all of the stamps in the Lighthouses series, beginning in 1990.

Born in Hong Kong, Mak grew up in New York City’s Chinatown after his family moved to the United States in 1971. Mak’s involvement with City Art Workshop, an organization designed to encourage the art interests of inner-city youth, inspired his love of painting. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1984 from New York’s School of Visual Arts where he studied on a full scholarship. Mak’s richly colored paintings have illustrated the covers of numerous magazines and books, including his first offering as both author and illustrator, My Chinatown: One Year in Poems, about a little boy growing up in Chinatown. Among his many awards are the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Book Award for best children’s picture book, the National Parenting Publications Gold Medal and gold and silver medals, plus the Stevan Dohanos Award, from the Society of Illustrators. Mak is an associate professor of illustration at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. Mak was commissioned by the USPS to design the 12-year stamp series celebrating the Lunar New Year that began in 2008 and will continue through 2019.

Andersen-Bruce, a 1973 honors graduate of the Art Center of Design in Pasadena, Calif., has been president and sole proprietor of a photography business for more than two decades. From her studio in Connecticut and from many foreign countries, she has produced photographic art for corporate executives, products, annual and financial reports, websites and U. S. postage stamps. She has also worked with the International Folk Art Museum in Santa Fe, N.M., and the Museum of American Political Life in Hartford, Conn. In the late 1990s, she lived in Seoul, South Korea, while documenting global design workshops created for Samsung multimedia by product designers James Miho and Gordon Bruce. Assignments from clients such as IBM, Polaroid, AT&T, Pepsi, Fortune and the Wall Street Journal have taken her to India, Germany, England, Italy, France, Sweden and Mexico. Her stamp designs for the USPS include “Classic American Dolls” (1997), “Neuter or Spay” (2002), “Holiday Cookies” (2005), “Holiday Nutcrackers” (2008) and “Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet” (2010).

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

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