Howard H. Koslow Collection

Finding Guide
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Unadopted, original conceptual artwork by Howard H. Koslow for the 1990 Sandy Hook Lighthouse commemorative.

Prepared by Daniel A. Piazza, Curator of Philately with the assistance of Michael Devaney.


The Howard H. Koslow Collection of modern U.S. stamp art consists of one box of forty-eight folders containing pre- and post-production materials for nearly every stamp Howard Koslow designed. The folders are arranged into three series. The first series comprises stamp art, mainly highly developed pencil sketches and acrylic paintings for accepted and unaccepted stamp designs. The second series comprises Koslow’s artwork for his private cachets. The third series comprises correspondence and additional reference material such as photographs and newspaper clippings.


Howard H. Koslow graduated from Pratt Institute in New York in 1944. After an apprenticeship to Jean Carlu, the French poster artist, Koslow studied painting at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and the School of Visual Arts in New York. Over his lengthy career, he developed a reputation for historical accuracy, which led to commissions from the U.S. Air Force, NASA—for whom he created official paintings of the Apollo 15 mission and the first launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour—the National Park Service, and the U.S. Coast Guard. He received his first stamp commission from the U.S. Postal Service in 1971 for a stamp to mark the tenth anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty. Over the next four decades, Koslow designed sixty stamps for the USPS. Although he is best known for his series of thirty stamps featuring lighthouses of the United States, other notable stamps included issues for the bicentennials of the signing and ratification of the U.S. Constitution, Jazz Singers in the Legends of Hollywood series, and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Koslow donated this collection to the National Postal Museum in 2012 (Accession #2012.2036).


The Howard H. Koslow Collection is an important collection of original production material for U.S. stamps that complements the Postmaster General’s Collection. It includes original artwork not found in the PMG collection, as well as material related to stamps that were never issued. Unissued stamps are grouped together at the end of the first series.