American Art on Postage Stamps: Telling the Story of a Nation

January 29, 2009
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The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum’s award-winning Web site Arago presents another featured collection titled “American Art on Postage Stamps: Telling the Story of a Nation,” which can be viewed at

From the first stamps issued by the United States in 1847 to the present day, many American postage stamps have featured important fine art produced by famous American artists. The transformation and adaption of these works to the format of a postage stamp is one of the many fascinating, yet often overlooked stories, about U.S. stamps. This featured collection showcases a wide array of postage stamps in which the works of many artists, including Norman Rockwell and Edward Hopper, and photographers, such as Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange, have been adapted by stamp designers.

“Many famous works of American art embody the essence and character of our country. The subjects and themes of America’s postage stamps serve a similar purpose, and highlighting the stories behind the intersection of these two mediums was one of the most dynamic projects I have worked on during my time at the postal museum,” said Alex Haimann, collections specialist and writer.

The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing the largest and most comprehensive collection of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue N.E., Washington, D.C., across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). For more information about the Smithsonian, please call (202) 633-1000 or TTY (202) 633-5285. Museum Web site:

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