Stamp Design and the Visual Arts

Topical Reference Page
a blank stamp frame

Find resources about stamp art and design on the museum's website.

September 26, 2008 - October 12, 2015
Exhibition

This exhibit presented an alphabet of philately through 26 topics, in which each letter represented some aspect of stamp collecting or the sending of mail.

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Exhibition

Telling the Story of a Nation
From the early colonial period to the present day, American artists have captured their interpretation of the American experience using different forms of art. These pieces of fine art have been adapted to portray famous American individuals, events, and geography on postage stamps. Postage stamps depicting fine art have become another looking glass into this country and its many themes.

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July 30, 2003 - February 24, 2004
Exhibition

On view were 100 original drawings and artworks that were used to create postage stamps, including entries for the famous Elvis stamp design competition.

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July 11, 2011 - August 5, 2012
Exhibition

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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July 1, 2004 - July 10, 2006
Exhibition

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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Engraved die, 1851 stamp essay
Exhibition
Learn to create your own stamp engraving at home with a few simple materials.
October 20, 2017 - July 14, 2019
Exhibition

This exhibition highlighted the variety of flowering plants commemorated on US postage stamps during the past 50 years and explores artistic themes that emerged during this period. For example, the artwork portrays a variety of...

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Artwork by Keith Birdsong for American Indian Dances commemoratives; very similar to the issued stamp.
As an art director for the U.S. Postal Service for more than 15 years, Carl T. Herrman designed more than 50 stamps and guided more than 250 stamp projects, including Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Humphrey Bogart, and Comic Strip Classics.
Interactive screen in gallery
Exhibition
In this highly interactive area, visitors are immersed in examples of how stamp content, design, and production have changed over time and how modern U.S. stamps reflect the nation’s identity. Here, too, visitors explore...

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Related Blogs

Between Stamp Art and Quarantine: Recreate the Stamp Challenge

The National Postal Museum invites you to partake in a new quarantine challenge: recreating a postage stamp using items from your home!

Are Stamps Art: The Design Process

By Luke Tokman, Katzenberger Art History Intern, August 1, 2018

“Beautiful Blooms: Flowering Plants on Stamps” Opens Tomorrow!

The museum is pleased to announce the opening of its newest exhibition “Beautiful Blooms: Flowering Plants on Stamps."

National Postal Museum To Unveil Art Exhibition

The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum is unveiling an exhibition of original artwork Dec. 10 titled, “New York City: A Portrait Through Stamp Art.” On display through Mar. 13, 2017, 30 pieces of original artwork will be publically displayed for the first time, celebrating the influence of New York City on American society.

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