Past Exhibitions

November 12, 2007 - September 21, 2013

Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, was an avid stamp and cover collector. On view were key pieces from her collection, including photographs and stamps commemorating her flights. She often flew signed pieces of mail that were then sold to philatelists to support her endeavors.

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Honoring Lincoln: Abraham Lincoln Certified Plate Proofs
November 15, 2008 - September 21, 2013

Eleven certified plate proofs for postage stamps honoring Abraham Lincoln were on view in the Philatelic Gallery pullout frames. Certified plate proofs are the last printed proof of the plate before printing the stamps. These plate proofs are each unique, with the approval signatures and date. Issued from 1894 to 1959, the stamps feature a variety of Lincoln portraits.

July 11, 2011 - August 5, 2012

Art of the Stamp: Owney the Postal Dog featured Bill Bonds’s original painting of Owney that was produced for the stamp. It was accompanied by 6 sketches illustrating various poses of Owney that Mr. Bonds created as he developed his...

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August 4, 2010 - January 9, 2012

The National Philatelic Collection celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2011, making it the oldest intact national stamp collection in the world. Collecting History invites you to learn about the history of this national treasure and reflect on what the material within it can teach us about world cultures and the American experience.

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October 20, 2010 - July 10, 2011

On view was original art produced by Kadir Nelson for the creation of the Negro Leagues Baseball stamps, which pay tribute to the all-black professional baseball leagues that operated from 1920 to approximately 1960.

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March 6, 2008 - July 6, 2011

The Victory Mail exhibit showcased the Museum’s collection of World War II V-Mail correspondence. V for Victory, a popular symbol of the Second World War, was the inspiration for the name of this new fangled correspondence style.

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July 30, 1993 - May 6, 2011

This gallery emphasized the art of letter writing, a cherished art form providing a window into American history.

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July 30, 1993 - October 5, 2010

Long after city dwellers began to enjoy free home mail delivery, rural Americans still had to travel to the post office—which was often located in a country store—to pick up their mail.

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June 9, 2009 - June 7, 2010

Franklin D. Roosevelt, president during the Great Depression, used stamps to communicate with the American people.

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What's in the Mail for You!
November 4, 1996 - January 25, 2010

This state-of-the-art, hands-on exhibition offered an innovative look at the direct mail industry through a series of interactive displays, videos, computer games, holograms, and graphics. Visitors learned about the process of direct mail, the vast world of business mail, and its impact on society.

Treasures from the William H. Gross Collection
October 1, 2009 - October 31, 2009

In honor of National Stamp Collecting Month, the museum features three great stamp rarities on loan from William H. Gross, founder of PIMCO: a block of four 1918 "Inverted Jennys"; a cover from the Pony Express Service; and a cover featuring the 10-cent George Washington stamp, dated July 2, 1847.

Art of the Stamp: Lincoln's Bicentennial
February 12, 2009 - October 26, 2009

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) first appeared on a U.S. postage stamp in 1866, around the first anniversary of his assassination. The United States Postal Service honors his 200th birthday with a set of four stamps, each capturing a different aspect of his life and career. Through the cooperation of the USPS Office of Stamp Services, the Smithsonian National Postal Museum was pleased to present the original artwork for the four new stamps.

Eliot A. Landau
Lincoln, Slavery, and the Civil War
March 6, 2009 - March 8, 2009

Eliot Landau's award-winning philatelic exhibition combined philately, ephemera, and artifacts in an engaging exploration of Lincoln's presidency, the Civil War, and Black History.

May 27, 2006 - January 12, 2009

Called the “crown jewels” of U.S. stamp collecting, Miller's collection was donated to the New York Public Library in 1925 where it was displayed for more than 50 years. But after a theft in 1977, the collection was locked away until the National Postal Museum exhibit.

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November 16, 2006 - August 17, 2008

Art of the Stamp
This exhibition presented works of art commissioned by the US Postal Service over the last 40 years. These paintings and drawings represent the work of 42 different artists and showcase an array of techniques and styles.

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December 14, 2006 - January 31, 2008

As hostilities between the colonists and the Crown grew, many people began protesting high postage rates by sending their letters “out of the mails.”

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Disaster: Response and Recovery
June 27, 2007 - January 25, 2008

This exhibition revealed how the Postal Service responds to disasters — natural or manmade — that dramatically affect everyday life in an instant. Among the objects representing disaster in two cases were postal keys recovered from the body of sea post clerk Oscar Woody, who perished trying to protect the mail aboard the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) Titanic, a mailbox remnant that survived the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, and an envelope postmarked the first day mail service resumed in New Orleans after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina.

October 8, 2003 - February 2, 2007

This exhibition surveyed the dangers faced by the nation's postal workers, honors their individual acts of heroism, and celebrates the U.S. Postal Service's involvement in a program that distributes pictures of missing children to tens of millions of homes each week.

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November 11, 2005 - November 13, 2006

War Letters: Lost and Found featured original letters from the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam that were lost or abandoned and then rediscovered by strangers.

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July 1, 2004 - July 10, 2006

This exhibition explored the history of rare and collectible Federal Duck Stamps created as a result of this extraordinary conservation program.

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October 6, 2005 - April 6, 2006

Before John Lennon traveled the globe playing music with The Beatles, this boy from Liverpool, England saw the world in a whole different way−through stamps.

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March 15, 2005 - March 19, 2006

This exhibition revealed highlights from the wide-ranging Postmaster General's Collection spanning more than 150 years of US stamp-making, including not only stamps, but "behind-the-scenes" materials.

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Forwarding Address Required
May 4, 2001 - October 17, 2005

Through the cards and letters exchanged between Japanese-American children sent away to internment camps during World War II and San Diego librarian Miss Clara Breed, the exhibition looked at the role of the mail as a civil liberty and witness to history. Miss Breed had grown fond of the children who had visited the library before the war and began corresponding with them in 1942, when she first gave each a stamped, addressed postcard. Correspondence continued throughout the war and until her death in 1994.

April 6, 2004 - January 11, 2005

The National Postal Museum is pleased to present a selection of extraordinary materials from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's personal philatelic holdings. The Royal Philatelic Collection includes the world's finest and most comprehensive collection of British and Commonwealth stamps.

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April 15, 2004 - January 11, 2005

Kristen Ollies started her collection in 1999, when she was in fifth grade. Her collection has grown to an award-winning private collection of 48 album pages.

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