National Postal Museum Honors Philatelic Achievement

January 22, 2013
News Release
Beech and Kramer

The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum announced recipients of the 2013 Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award—David Beech and George Kramer.

The Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award celebrates outstanding lifetime accomplishments in the field of philately, including original research that significantly advances the understanding of philately and postal history, exceptional service to the philatelic community and the overall promotion of philately for the benefit of current and future collectors. The honorees were selected by the National Postal Museum Council of Philatelists, a body of American and international philatelists, from open nominations submitted this past year. The awards will be presented at a private event Sept. 20, leading up to the public opening of the new William H. Gross Stamp Gallery Sept. 22.

“These 2013 Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Awards recipients are extraordinary philatelists who have shared their incredible talents in exceptional ways for the betterment of our great hobby,” said Cheryl R. Ganz, chief curator of philately.

Beech has made an impact on British and international philately. As curator of the British Library Philatelic Collections since 1983, he built up a philatelic reference library to approximately 10,000 volumes over the course of 20 years. In 1991, he became head of the philatelic collections. Beech positioned philately at the British Library as the preeminent library collection of stamps and literature in the world. He is a Fellow and past president of the Royal Philatelic Society London. Over the past 30 years he has influenced philately, philatelic libraries and postal museums around the world, showcasing philately for both broad audiences and specialists.

Kramer has achieved high levels in many different philatelic pursuits and others have adopted some of his innovations. He has received the American Philatelic Society Champion of Champions award three times, for the exhibitions “Wells Fargo” in 1986, “Across the Continent” in 1993 and “U.S. Domestic Mails 1776 - 1869” in 2003. He received the Grand Prix National at Pacific 97 and a Grand Prix in Australia in 2005. In addition to his innovations in exhibiting technique, he has written articles and chapters for journals and books on Mexican revenues, telegraph stamps and the Pony Express, among other subjects. He is a U.S. national-level judge and has served as commissioner for international exhibitions. Kramer served for eight years as chairman of the Philatelic Foundation, which culminated in his receiving the Neinken Medal for his meritorious service. In 2005, he signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists.

“These two major players in the philatelic world are very deserving of this prestigious award by the Smithsonian Institution,” said Allen Kane, director of the museum.

The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing one of the largest and most comprehensive collections 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, call (202) 633-1000 or visit the museum website at

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Marty Emery

(202) 633-5518