Postal Impressions

This exhibition is now closed

Drawn primarily from the Archive of New Zealand Post Postal Impressions is intended to explore the design context and content of the postage stamp.

Given the public nature of the postage stamp in the first instance and its subsequent status as a collectible it is not surprising that this predominantly small and prosaic object has on many occasions been accorded an art status of its own. Even the earliest designers and printers strove to produce an article which embodied the elements of fine art – sensitive portraiture and delicate engraving.

The history of stamp design is however full of highs and lows and this exhibition is not intended to elevate the works to any high art status. Rather it is intended to connect the fine arts, popular and applied arts, to reveal the imagery and symbols and their application in our everyday lives.

The exhibition includes original art and design work from 1855 to the 1980s printing plates and associated materials, relevant documentations and a variety of design submissions for many of the design competitions held since 1898.

The installation is designed in such a way as to allow a thematic journey through the exhibition including extensive sections on specific issues like the 1935 Pictorials or the designs of artists like H. Linley Richardson, Eileen Mayo and many others.

Postal Impressions has been jointly organised by New Zealand Post and the Sarjeant Gallery, Wanganui. Luit Bieringa, Curator of Postal Impressions will give a Sunday Lecture about the exhibition.

('Postal Impressions', Bulletin, No.74, June/July 1991, p.2)

Exhibition number 481