Tag Archives: Stamps

New Yorker & Artist Kadir Nelson Honor Nelson Mandela


Courtesy of The New Yorker

On December 5, South African leader Nelson Mandela died at the age of 95. Of the countless moving tributes delivered to the Nobel Peace Prize winner, perhaps none was more vivid than the New Yorker’s. The magazine’s new cover features a portrait of a young Mandela with his right fist raised high in the air. Artist Kadir Nelson, whose work has appeared on several U.S. Postal Service stamps, created the oil painting.

“From looking at the photos of the time, I could see that the energy around him was very strong and that his peers were very much with and behind him,” Nelson told the magazine. “He was clearly a leader. I wanted to make a simple and bold statement about Mandela and his life as a freedom fighter. The raised fist and the simple, stark palette reminded me of posters and anti-apartheid imagery of the nineteen-eighties. This painting is a tribute to the struggle for freedom from all forms of discrimination, and Nelson’s very prominent role as a leader in the anti-apartheid movement.”

Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure of working with Kadir on multiple projects for USPS. His work has appeared on the 2009 Anna Julia Cooper and Richard Wright stamps, the 2010 Negro Leagues Baseball stamps, the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Stars stamps, and most recently, this year’s Althea Gibson stamp.

He’s also created album cover art for Drake and Michael Jackson, and recently wrote and illustrated a children’s book about Mandela. The New Yorker cover is another incredible creation. We congratulate Kadir on the achievement!

Exploring the New-look Postal Museum

When the Smithsonian National Postal Museum’s new William H. Gross Stamp Gallery opens on September 22, there’s little doubt both those with a passing interest in stamps and hardcore collectors will be pleased. The 12,000-square foot space, the museum’s web site says, “continually reminds visitors that the history of stamps is intertwined with the history of America.”

It’s an exciting time for the Postal Museum, an organization PhotoAssist has worked closely with over the years. We proudly collaborated on the creation of several exhibits, including multiple Art of the Stamp displays. This week, we got a sneak peak of the Gross Gallery.

To put it simply: it’s very, very cool.

As soon as you walk into the museum’s Historic Lobby—which if you’re visiting Washington, D.C. is located right outside Union Station—you’ll notice a series of massive video screens that will be filled with stamp-related graphics.

Inside, the gallery is split into several sections. The first exhibit you see when you walk in is the World of Stamps. There are dozens of images of oversized stamps on display on video monitors, some of which are hanging from the ceiling. Postal Museum exhibits director Patricia Burke aptly described the display as a “stamp tree.” It’s a great introduction to the Gross Gallery, which full of stamp-related goodies. “You can’t walk in here and say, ‘I don’t know that this is a gallery of stamps,’” Burke said.

Connect With U.S. Stamps is another interesting exhibit. My favorite aspects of the area, which is designed to show how stamp production has evolved over time, are the touchscreen tables visitors can use. Each monitor, which is shaped like a giant rectangular stamp, gives visitors an extensive digital library of stamps to browse through. You can search the huge database—4,000 stamps!—select your favorites, and email the stamp images to yourself to create a virtual collection. There is a great mix of classics and modern stamps to choose from.

The most discerning stamp collectors will love the National Stamp Salon, which features pullout frames that hold stamps and various other items. Also on display in the salon: the Postmaster General’s stamp collection.

And those are just a few of the exhibits at the Gross Gallery. It opens on September 22, and is definitely worth a visit.

Beyond Stamps

Philatelic Product Image

During the two decades we’ve worked with the U.S. Postal Service, PhotoAssist has collaborated on the development of hundreds of postage stamps. But our relationship with USPS extends beyond stamps. In the past few years alone, we’ve helped create many philatelic products that showcase our design and editorial skills. Here’s a sampling of our work:

  • The Grandest Things, a comprehensive 116-page book about America’s national parks. The story of our country’s most precious natural treasures is fascinating. The photography alone is stunning.
  • A Century of Dance, a 32-page booklet that celebrates choreographers such as Katherine Dunham and Bob Fosse.
  • Twentieth-Century Poets, note cards, which highlight the work of 10 American poets, including Elizabeth Bishop, E.E. Cummings, Sylvia Plath, and William Carlos Williams.
  • Play Ball! A Celebration of Baseball’s Greatest Moments, a 40-page softbound book that features the artwork of Graig Kreindler, whose remarkably detailed paintings pop off the page.

If you like what you see, give us a shout. Our writers and researchers are here to help.