The national collection illustrates and invites research into United States philately and postal operations. It contains prestigious postal issues and specialized collections, archival postal documents and three-dimensional objects that trace the evolution of the postal services.
The National Postal Museum is divided into galleries that explore America's postal history from colonial times to the present. Visitors learn how mail has been transported and the wondrous diversity of postage stamps.
The Museum supports a wide variety of interdisciplinary research projects which address topics of importance such as current and future postal operations, as well as philatelic and postal history. Our efforts are a resource and point of reference for research and wider investigation by historians throughout the United States and the world.
The Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award honors Americans and individuals from around the world for outstanding lifetime accomplishments in the field of philately. The achievements can include original research that significantly advances our understanding of philately and postal history; exceptional service to the philatelic community, and, the overall promotion of philately for the benefit of current and future collectors.
The Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award Recipients of 2016
CHERYL R. GANZ
Cheryl R. Ganz, Ph.D., FRPSL (born 1950) is an internationally known philatelic expert, author, exhibitor and researcher specializing in aerophilately and zeppelin mail. In 2002, her acclaimed “Come Take a Ride on the Hindenburg” became the first display-class exhibit to win a World Series of Philately grand award. In addition to collecting and exhibiting with distinction, Ganz was an accredited literature judge who led efforts to standardize literature exhibiting and judging. She was the youngest member of the Ameripex ʼ86 organizing committee, a founding director of the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors and was president of the American Air Mail Society (AAMS). She edited The Zeppelin Collector newsletter for 36 years.
She joined the staff of the National Postal Museum after earning a doctorate from the University of Illinois at Chicago and became chief curator of philately in February 2008. Ganz curated an impressive array of exhibitions and brought the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery to life, selecting many of the 20,000 philatelic items on display. In 2014, she edited a volume about the National Philatelic Collection titled Every Stamp Tells a Story: The National Philatelic Collection.
Upon her retirement in 2014, Linn’s Stamp News credited Ganz with “reshaping the public’s view of stamp collecting.” In recognition of “significant and lasting contributions” to the museum, the Smithsonian granted her emerita status. Ganz is vice-chair of the U.S. Postal Service’s Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee. Her previous awards include the AAMS Aerophilatelic Hall of Fame, Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Aérophilatéliques Gold Medal, Mortimer L. Neinken Medal, Alfred Lichtenstein Award, Carlrichard Bruehl Medal, Elizabeth C. Pope Award, Saul Newberry Award and the U.S. Classics Society Distinguished Philatelist Award.
WILLIAM H. “BILL” GROSS
William H. “Bill” Gross (born 1944) has, over the past quarter-century, diligently assembled one of the finest collections of 19th-century U.S. stamps and postal history ever formed. His renowned exhibits have scored a virtually unprecedented 98 points at two separate Fédération Internationale de Philatélie-accredited shows and won the Grand Prix National at the Washington 2006 World Philatelic Exhibition. He has also built world-class stamp collections of Hawaii, Switzerland, Great Britain, France and Colonies, Scandinavia and British North America. Gross received the Collectors Club of New York’s Alfred F. Lichtenstein Award in 2011.
Almost unique among high-profile collectors, Gross publicly shares his passion for philately. Through his numerous collecting accomplishments, trade of the Inverted Jenny plate block for the One-Cent Z-Grill, and the generosity he and his wife, Sue, have shown in donating millions from the sale of portions of his non-U.S. stamp collections to charitable causes, he has generated more positive media exposure for the hobby over the past decade than any other single collector.
Philately’s most philanthropic supporter, Gross donated the entire press run and proceeds of “William H. Gross Collection—United States Classics 1847–1869: A History of United States Stamps” to The Collectors Club and other organizations. As lead donor to the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery at the National Postal Museum, he enabled the museum’s expansion and creation of the finest permanent, public exhibition of philatelic material anywhere in the world, promoting stamps and stamp collecting to nearly 500,000 visitors each year and inspiring future collectors.
RICHARD F. WINTER
Richard F. Winter, RDP, FRPSL (born 1937) comes from a stamp-collecting family and collected France and Colonies as a youth. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1959 and served 27 years in the Navy. His years at sea led to a fascination with stampless overseas mail, the steamships that carried the mails across the Atlantic Ocean and the complexities of foreign rates and treaties. He coauthored North Atlantic Mail Sailings 1840–75 (with Walter Hubbard, published 1988) and edited United States Incoming Steamship Mail, 1847–1875 (by Theron J. Wierenga, published 2000). His magisterial two-volume study of the subject, Understanding Transatlantic Mail (published 2006–2009), received numerous national grand awards and a large gold at London 2010, a rare achievement in the philatelic literature class.
Winter edited the foreign mails section of The Chronicle of the U.S. Classic Postal Issues for 27 years and currently edits the North Carolina Postal Historian. He has authored more than 100 articles. His previous awards include the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society’s Elliott Perry Cup (1988), Stanley B. Ashbrook Cup (1990, 2006, 2014), Lester G. Brookman Cup (1996) and Distinguished Philatelist Award (1997). He has received the American Philatelic Society’s John N. Luff Award for Distinguished Philatelic Research (1999), the American Philatelic Research Library’s J.C.M. Cryer Research Award (2001) and the Collectors Club of New York’s Alfred F. Lichtenstein Award (2003). He signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists (2008) at Stratford-upon-Avon, England.