Philately Will Get You to the Smithsonian

The Smithsonian National Postal Museum is celebrating its 15th anniversary with a special exhibit entitled “Alphabetilately.”
ALPHABET + PHILATELY or Alphabetilately is the alphabet of philately.
Each of the 26 letters stands for some aspect of the collecting of stamps or the sending of mail. The stamps, ephemera, and artifacts exhibited in Alphabetilately graphically document the spectrum of the American experience, from historical subjects to popular culture, from actual events to important ideas. Be sure to follow this link to the Museum’s site for a clever Flash treatment. Click on each image and it will enlarge and come into focus.
From all accounts (I haven’t been able to visit yet) Alphabetilately is an appealing exhibition and a lively educational experience for visitors of every age. It provides an extraordinary showcase for selections from the Postal Museum’s unparalleled collection of American postal and philatelic history.

Crane & Co. was a major sponsor of the opening reception in September, a double philatelic festivity with a definite designer twist.

Each of the 26 topics was presented with its definition, accompanied by a cinderella (a label that looks like a stamp but is not valid for postage) created at a different design firm in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1997. Almost 2,000 items vibrantly filled the 26 cases: stamps, envelopes, and 3-D objects. Crane sponsored the Correspondence Salon inside the Post Office at the Museum, providing guests with an array of Crane 100% cotton envelopes and notecards.

The newest Crane envelope size, A-9 was the big hit of the salon, since it could hold the largest quantity of vintage stamps.
The exhibit will be open at the Museum until October 2009, so there’s still plenty of time for you and me to get there.
Here are some scenes from the opening reception, courtesy of my West Coast friend Alyson Kuhn, who provided writing and editorial direction for the exhibit:

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