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.

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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December 10, 2015 - May 14, 2017

A Portrait Through Stamp Art
This exhibition of original artwork explored the diversity of topics highlighting the cultural heritage of New York City. The exhibition provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the Postmaster General’s Collection which the museum has acquired through a long-term agreement with the United States Postal Service.

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Bremerton residents view and discuss a post office mural
Throughout the United States—on post office walls large and small—are scenes reflecting America's history...
A small frame covered with postage stamp decoupage
Postage stamps are beautiful pieces of miniature art that can be used in a variety of craft projects. Watch this short video to see just how easy it is to use canceled stamps to decoupage objects already in your home.
1963 March on Washington 37c cent postage stamp with painting of a crowd holding signs
Delight in the colorful world of the paintings of Alma Thomas with the National Postal Museum and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Educators explore Thomas’s life and work through museum objects, a children’s book, and postage stamps.
stamp featuring a sculpture resembling a mother holding a child
Discover how eastern and western cultures intersected in the life and art of Japanese American designer Isamu Noguchi.
13 cent postage stamp featuring a basket design on a quilt
Enjoy an introduction to quilts with the National Postal Museum and the National Museum of American History. Educators touch on the artistry and history of quilts through collection images, a children’s book, and postage stamps.
Postage stamp featuring a collage by Romare Bearden
Explore the colorful and creative world of renowned artist and Civil Rights activist Romare Bearden with the National Postal Museum and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Ruth Asawa and a sheet of stamps showing her artwork
Learn about the fascinating life of Ruth Asawa, a Japanese American artist whose sculptures are featured on a set of postage stamps issued by the USPS in August 2020.
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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Related Blogs

The Artist Behind the Stamp

As a graduate student in the Museum Studies Program at George Washington University, I am incredibly lucky to be interning this summer at the...

Seeking Out Post Office Murals—First Stop Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Are you planning a trip this summer or are you taking a college bound student on an inspection tour? A fun activity for your entire family might be to see if your destination or route has a post office with murals that were created during the depression under the Section of Fine Arts.

Marilyn Travels to New Orleans: The Stamp art of Michael Deas

Marilyn Monroe standing over a subway grate in the 1955 movie “The Seven Year Itch” is one of the iconic poses of American cinematic history. It was also the subject of an illustration that artist Michael J. Deas proposed for the Marilyn Monroe stamp souvenir sheet selvage(1) that was to become part of the 1995 Legends of Hollywood series.

Elaine Rawlinson: first female U.S. stamp designer

Finding the “first” is a default mechanism for uncovering an interesting story. Elaine Rawlinson, first female stamp designer, was a first in more ways than one.