National Postal Museum Presents the Arago Featured Collection “The Art of Christmas Stamps”

October 21, 2009
News Release
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The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum has launched the featured online collection “The Art of Christmas Stamps” on Arago, its award-winning Web site, in collaboration with the National Gallery of Art. The collection includes celebrated artworks dated as early as 1300, which take on new form and sometimes new meaning when adapted to U.S. stamps. The differences and similarities between the stamps and the artwork are highlighted throughout the collection, leading to a deeper understanding and a unique perspective on postage stamps and art. The collection can be viewed at

“Stamps conveying the Christmas spirit have been popular during the holidays since 1962, and we’re excited to present them along with the extraordinary artwork that inspired them,” said Thomas Lera, the Winton M. Blount Research Chair in Research at the Postal Museum. “The featured works might not otherwise be seen together, yet, as a collection, they provide an Internet resource for educators, researchers, art historians, philatelists and the public.”

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, please call (202) 633-1000 or TTY (202) 633-5285. Visit the museum Web site at

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