Museum Voorlinden (Netherlands 2017)

[press release]
Museum Voorlinden artworks collected on stamp sheetlet

The Hague, 17 July 2017 – A new stamp sheetlet about Museum Voorlinden features eight works of art from the museum’s collection as well as two nature photos. On the stamp sheetlet, designer Gerard Hadders shows the role that daylight has in the relationship between the indoor and outdoor world of Museum Voorlinden.

First of all, the special roof filters the light, allowing visitors to always view the museum’s artworks under optimal conditions. Hadders also used this aspect of light on the stamp sheetlet. “The relationship between inside and outside is highlighted on several stamps, including Tuinen by landscape architect Piet Oudolf and the building by Kraaijvanger Architects. On those, you see how beautifully the light from outside falls inside,” Hadders explains.

Collage of different angles
Hadders, PostNL and Museum Voorlinden worked together to make a selection from the thousands of artworks. “We have a set of permanent works in our collection that deserved a spot on the stamp sheetlet. One of those is Ron Mueck’s Couple under an Umbrella, partly due to the important role the changing seasons play in our museum. You also see the seasons changing clockwise on the stamp sheetlet: starting at the top left with the summer beach image, going via autumn with the autumn leaves, winter with the snowflakes and spring with the bumblebee,” says Director of Voorlinden Suzanne Swarts.

Availability
The ‘Museum Voorlinden’ stamp sheetlet consists of ten stamps marked with ‘Nederland 1’, which can be used for items weighing up to 20g destined for mail in the Netherlands. These stamps will be available from 17 July at all Bruna shops and via Collectclub.nl. The stamps are valid until further notice.

Hotchner: More Stamps???

“Why Do You Need More Stamps?”
by John M. Hotchner

Early on, as my wife watched my stamp collection take over more and more square feet in our house, she asked the $64,000 Question: “Why do you need more stamps? You have so many already.” It is a reasonable question; perhaps akin to “Why do race car drivers keep going around in circles?”

It all makes sense to the participants — and to those who enjoy the ride vicariously; but why a collector collects, and why enough is never enough, are more difficult questions. Over the years I have tried to explain my reasons for pursuing more and better stamps and covers, and it is fair to say that I have never quite hit the mark, and certainly have not been able to overcome her assumption that there is a point at which a collection is complete; somewhat like the point at which the house has enough curtains and needs no more.

It fact, collections are never complete unless the collector wants them to be. And I don’t. Completeness signifies the end of collecting that particular thing, and moving on to something else — or nothing else. It is not where I want to be.

I like stamps and covers, and the discovery of new pathways of the hobby. In fact, what my wife sees as my collection — writ large — is really made up of a lot of small collections. And I like the feeling of having many philatelic balls in the air, and knowing that I can go to a bourse and be certain that I can find something new to enhance one or more of them.

I may add nothing to one collection for years, but another may grow like Topsy because I luck into a good source. Furthermore, it is not unusual to trip over something that is so interesting, it leads to yet another collecting category.

My wife and I have not buried this issue. Instead we have agreed to disagree. I’ve tried to compare the question to the issue of why she needs yet another pair of shoes, but it’s not the same thing she says: She doesn’t collect shoes for their beauty, for their story, to categorize…. She wears shoes; they have a functional value. The only things stamps are good for is mailing a letter.

So, it is time to gather in one place the six reasons (or excuses, if that is how you look at it) I’ve advanced for why I keep buying more stamps, ad to try to look beyond them. I think that the list makes a compelling case. But to accept that it does, requires being able to walk in my shoes, and understand the pleasures I get from the hobby.

Anyway, here goes:

  1. One of the characteristics of Mankind is acquisitiveness. Not many can avoid it, and there are many different degrees. But it is normal. And for those born with what I like to call The Collector Gene, a specific area can start as an interest, progress to a passion, and somewhere along the line turn into an addiction. Different people may assess that hold over an individual’s actions differently. I don’t see my addiction to philately as a bad thing. My spouse is not so sure that my level of self-control is up to the task of keeping me within practical limits. I like to point out that unlike some, we have not had to buy a larger house, or a second home, to house the collection; though I do have to admit that the collection does get in the way of downsizing!
  2. I buy individual stamps to complete album pages. I find it very satisfying to complete an album page. Of such little victories is life made up.
  3. And I buy specific stamps and covers to add to exhibits. Often this is just to fill a perceived gap, but sometimes the item ads to the body of knowledge about what is being exhibited. Previously unreported significant items in an exhibit are worth their weight toward a gold medal, but it is also a wonderful feeling to know that you have advanced the frontiers of knowledge.
  4. I buy collections because I am a passionate searcher for varieties. It is not enough to fill preprinted album pages. I am fascinated by interesting cancellations, revenue stamps, per ns, precancels, sheet markings, color varieties, misperforations, printing flaws. As often as not these are 10¢ items that dealers hardly ever stock, and the best way to find them is in old collections. (What I don’t use from collections gets traded, sold or donated. Unlike some, my house is not burdened by boxes of collection remainders.)
  5. I buy stamps and covers to write about in my various columns. Deadlines are harsh taskmasters, and finding new material is not only a necessity, but helps me to manage deadlines. Especially given the breadth and depth of U.S. philately, something new is always popping up that will with a little research to complement it, will make an interesting story.
  6. In my old age, with all our children on their own, and our physical needs taken care of, I buy the occasional stamp or cover (unrelated to an existing collection) that I have always admired and wanted. Why? Because it pleases me!

As I reread this, there is surely an element of self-indulgence in philatelic acquisitiveness. It prompts the question, Would I be a better person if I were spending the same money on diamond earrings for my wife — or annual vacations in Paris — or simply padding the savings account? Perhaps by some measures.

But these are questions each of us has to answer for him- or herself. As for me, stamp and cover collecting is my one extravagance. I don’t spend money on cigarettes, alcohol, caviar, thousand dollar suits, or the gambling tables in Atlantic City. Philately is not about acquiring mountains of money or social status — in fact to the average non-collector — it may type a collector as a bit of an odd duck.

But it lets us ‘believers’ slow life down, de-stress, and play in ways reminiscent of childhood. A constant stream of new ‘toys’ is the price of admission. No apologies.


Should you wish to comment on this column, or have questions or ideas you would like to have explored in a future column, please write to John Hotchner, VSC Contributor, P.O. Box 1125, Falls Church, VA 22041-0125, or email, putting “VSC” in the subject line.

Or comment right here.

US Postal Museum Taps Elliot Gruber

Elliot Gruber, the chief development and external affairs officer for the Jewish Social Service Agency, has been named director of the National Postal Museum, effective Sept. 5.

Gruber has more than 30 years’ experience in the nonprofit sector. As chief development and external affairs officer for the Jewish Social Service Agency since January, Gruber is responsible for the organization’s philanthropic revenue, marketing and communications. Under his leadership, the agency launched a $6 million capital campaign to renovate one of its buildings in the Washington, D.C., area. The Jewish Social Service Agency is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, client-focused health and social service agency helping individuals and families meet emotional social and physical challenges for more than 120 years.

Before joining the Jewish Social Service Agency, Gruber was a principal at EHG Consulting, which provides strategic planning and operations and fundraising expertise to nonprofit organizations. Gruber worked with the Houston Maritime Museum, which is preparing to launch a $50 million capital campaign for its new facility scheduled to open in 2020. He also conducted a comprehensive review and analysis of the organizational and fundraising structure for Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.

Gruber was the president and chief executive officer of The Mariners’ Museum and Park in Newport News, Va., from February 2013 through April 2016. There, he managed a $7 million annual budget, 550 acres of parkland and a staff of 90. He also established the Monitor Foundation, a nonprofit organization overseeing the largest marine metals conservation lab in the world, to ensure continued conservation of the ironclad steamship the USS Monitor, which was built by the U.S. Navy during the Civil War.

From September 2010 until January 2013, Gruber was the senior vice president for resource development for the United Way of the National Capital Area. He was responsible for all fundraising programs, including the Greater Washington Give to the Max Day, which in its inaugural year raised more than $2 million in 24 hours.

Gruber was the vice president and chief operating officer of the Gettysburg Foundation (August 2002–September 2010) where he directed the $125 million capital campaign to build a new museum and visitor center at Gettysburg National Military Park. He oversaw all museum operations, including ticketing, reservations, visitor services and facilities management.

He has also worked in leadership capacities at the Ocean Conservancy, the Civil War Trust and the National Parks Conservation Association.

“Elliot brings great and relevant experience to the directorship of the National Postal Museum,” said Smithsonian Secretary David Skorton. “His skills as a museum leader and his fundraising acumen make him an excellent choice to lead this important museum into its next chapter.”

“I am proud to have been selected to lead the National Postal Museum, which tells the story of our American journey, past, present and future,” Gruber said. “I look forward to using my experience to work with the museum’s staff, advisory council and the Council of Philatelists to build new partnerships within the Smithsonian, across the country and around the world.”

Gruber received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., and his master’s degree in organizational psychology from Columbia University in New York City.

He succeeds Allen Kane, who retired in January, as director of the museum. Marshall Emery has served as acting director of the museum since then.

About the National Postal Museum
The National Postal Museum is dedicated to the preservation, study and presentation of postal history and philately. (Note: Philately is the collection and study of postage stamps, postmarks and stamped envelopes.) The museum uses exhibits, educational public programs and research to showcase the largest and most comprehensive collection of stamps and philatelic material in the world—including postal stationery, vehicles used to transport the mail, mailboxes, meters, cards and letters and postal materials that predate the use of stamps—and make this rich history available to scholars, philatelists, collectors and visitors from around the world.

The museum occupies more than 100,000 square feet of the historic City Post Office Building, with 35,000 square feet devoted to exhibition galleries. A U.S. Post Office stamp store, museum store and a 6,000-square-foot research library complement the exhibition halls.

Disney Villains (U.S. 2017)

Updated July 7, 2017:
On July 15, 2017, in Anaheim, CA, the U.S. Postal Service® will issue the Disney Villains stamps (Forever® priced at 49 cents), in ten designs, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of 20 stamps (Item 475400). The Disney Villains $9.80 pane of 20 stamps may not be split, and the stamps may not be sold individually. The stamps will go on sale nationwide July 15, 2017.

This issuance celebrates the rich legacy of the Walt Disney Studios Ink & Paint Department with a pane of 20 stamps showcasing 10 classic Disney villains: Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty), Honest John (Pinocchio), Cruella De Vil (One Hundred and One Dalmatians), Captain Hook (Peter Pan), the Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland), Lady Tremaine (Cinderella), Ursula (The Little Mermaid), the Queen (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), Gaston (Beauty and the Beast), and Scar (The Lion King). The selvage area features the Queen from Snow White standing in front of an ornate background. The reverse side of the pane includes drawings of the 10 characters and a quote by each one. Art Director Derry Noyes of Washington, DC, working closely with Disney Creative Director David Pacheco and the team at the Walt Disney Studios Ink & Paint Department, designed these stamps using new art created for the issuance.

Stamp Fulfillment Services has completed an automatic push distribution to Post Offices of a quantity to cover approximately 30 days of sales. How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark:
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store® website at usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-782-6724. They must affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

FDOI – Disney Villains Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. There is a 5-cent charge for each additional postmark over 50. All orders must be postmarked by September 15, 2017. Philatelic products for this stamp issue are as follows:

  • 475406, Press Sheet with Die-cut, $58.80
  • 475410 Digital Color Postmark Keepsake (random cover), $11.95
  • 475416 First-Day Cover (set of 10), $9.30
  • 475421 Digital Color Postmark (set of 10), $16.40
  • 475430 Ceremony Program, $6.95
  • 475433 Panel, $17.95
  • 475466 Notecards (set of 20), $15.95

Technical Specifications:

Issue: Disney Villains Stamps
Item Number: 475400
Denomination & Type of Issue: First-Class Mail®, Forever
Format: Pane of 20 (10 designs)
Series: N/A
Issue Date & City: July 15, 2017, Anaheim, CA 92803
Art Director: Derry Noyes, Washington, DC
Designer: Derry Noyes, Washington, DC
Typographer: Derry Noyes, Washington, DC
Artist: Walt Disney Studios Ink & Paint Department
Modeler: Joseph Sheeran
Manufacturing Process: Offset
Printer: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)
Printed at: Williamsville, NY
Press Type: Muller A76
Stamps per Pane: 20
Print Quantity: 60,000,000 stamps
Paper Type: Nonphosphored Type III, Gloss Block Tag
Adhesive Type: Pressure-sensitive
Processed at: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)
Colors: Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, PMS 7687C Purple
Stamp Orientation: Vertical
Image Area (w x h): 1.085 x 1.420 in/27.56 x 36.07 mm
Overall Size (w x h): 1.225 x 1.56 in/31.12 x 39.62 mm
Full Pane Size (w x h): 7.12 x 9.45 in/180.85 x 240.03 mm
Press Sheet Size (w x h): 22.235 x 19.025/564.77 x 483.24 mm
Plate Size: 120 stamps per revolution
Plate Numbers: “P” followed by five (5) digits
Marginal Markings:
Front: Header: DISNEY VILLAINS – from the Walt Disney Studios Ink & Paint Department
Back: ©2017 USPS • USPS Logo • Barcode (475400) • Plate Position Diagram • Promotional Text • Line Drawing and quote for each character • Disney Logo • Disney proprietary information

Updated July 6, 2017: There are 10 Digital Color Postmarks for this issue, one for each stamp, but any of the DCPs may be used for any of the stamps! There is also a B&W hand cancel and a “special” postmark that local post offices may use. Here are the designs: “Alice in Wonderland” measures 2.87″ x 1.47″.“Cinderella” measures 2.99″ x 1.10″.“Lion King” measures 2.97″ x 1.32″.“Peter Pan” measures 2.73″ x 1.48″.“Sleeping Beauty” measures 2.99″ x 1.15″.“Beauty and the Beast” measures 2.99″ x 1.32″.“101 Dalmatians” measures 2.94″ x 1.37″.“Little Mermaid” measures 2.98″ x 1.47″.“Pinocchio” measures 2.69″ x 1.32″.“Snow White” measures 2.97″ x 1.44″.The B&W postmark measures 2.57″ x 1.23.”.The “special” postmark measures 3.00″ x 1.27″.

Updated July 5, 2017:
According to the USPS web-store listing for this item, “the selvage area features the Queen from Snow White standing in front of an ornate background. The reverse side of the sheet includes drawings of the 10 characters and a quote by each one.”

Maleficent: “You poor simple fools! Thinking you could defeat me, me, the Mistress of All Evil!”

Honest John: “If we play our cards right, we’ll be on easy street, or my name isn’t Honest John!”

Cruella De Vil: “So, they thought they could outwit Cruella.”

Captain Hook: “Blast that Peter Pan!”

Queen of Hearts: “Off with their heads!”

We’re not told if there are quotes for the remaining three characters, Scar, Gaston and Snow White‘s Queen.

Thanks to Richard Wierzbowski for the tip.

[USPS press release]
Disney Studios Ink & Paint Department to be Celebrated on Forever Stamps Featuring Disney Villains

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service celebrates the rich legacy of the Walt Disney Studios Ink & Paint Department by dedicating a sheet of 20 Forever stamps featuring 10 classic Disney villains.

The Disney Villains Forever stamps will be dedicated at 1:30 p.m. PDT July 15, during D23 Expo 2017, Disney’s ultimate fan event at the Anaheim Convention Center, Center Stage. The public is encouraged to share the news on social media using the hashtag #DisneyVillainsStamps. Beginning June 22, the stamps may be pre-ordered at usps.com/shop for delivery shortly after the July 15 issuance.

Admission is limited to the ceremony that is standing room only. You may RSVP at www.usps.com/disney; however, this does not guarantee admission. Additional instructions will be provided. D23 Expo 2017 ticket holders do not need to RSVP. Each stamp showcases one of 10 classic Disney villains against a blue background: the Queen (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), Honest John (Pinocchio), Lady Tremaine (Cinderella), the Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland), Captain Hook (Peter Pan); and Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty), Cruella De Vil (One Hundred and One Dalmatians), Ursula (The Little Mermaid), Gaston (Beauty and the Beast) and Scar (The Lion King).

The words “USA” and “Forever” appear in the top right corner or bottom right corner of each stamp and the name of the classic villain and the movie in which the character appears runs along the left edge.

The Art of Animation
Beginning in 1923, Disney’s Ink & Paint Department helped create classic animated films. Its artists brought life to countless memorable characters, including many iconic Disney villains.

One of the first groups of its kind, Disney’s Ink & Paint Department was yet another stop on the road to creating an animated film. After the animators’ pencil drawings were finished, they went to Ink and Paint. There, highly specialized artists meticulously recreated each pencil line in ink, capturing every nuanced movement and expression. At first, artists used black and white, and later shades of gray to “color” each celluloid or cel. In the early 1930s, the artists began using rich colors on the animation cels.

The last full-length animated Disney film to use the hand-painted cel process was The Little Mermaid (1989). Beauty and the Beast (1991) and The Lion King (1994) were hand drawn. The original pencil drawings for those films were then scanned and painted digitally. For these stamps, the characters Gaston (Beauty and the Beast) and Scar (The Lion King) have been recreated using traditional ink and paint techniques.

Art director Derry Noyes of Washington, DC, designed the issuance.

The Disney Villains from the Walt Disney Studios Ink & Paint Department stamps are being issued as Forever stamps that are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail service one-ounce price.

APS Exec On The State of The Hobby

At a “town hall” meeting at the NAPEX show in suburban Washington, D.C., June 9, 2017, American Philatelic Society executive director Scott English talked about the diminishing membership, not only in the APS, but in stamp collecting organizations in general.

APS membership in 1988, when English graduated high school, was almost 56,000. Today, when his youngest child is graduating high school, it’s about 29,000. Membership is down about 900 for the year. “It scares me,” he admits.

English said he did “opposition research” before he took the job as executive director 22 months ago. He described that as “I know more about you than you do, and it isn’t all good.”

In this case, he found that the APS was disconnected and standing still. It’s still a problem, he said. “Our problem with the hobby is we love tradition.”

However, English — who was not a stamp collector before he took the job — disputes assertions that stamp collecting is dying, and decreasing organizational membership proves it.

“Stamp collecting isn’t collapsing, organized philately is,” he declared.

English told the collectors at the NAPEX session the APS may get involved in the Regency-Superior bankruptcy case. That was a large philatelic auction house and retail stamp seller with headquarters in Saint Louis. A major creditor has seized the assets of the firm, and those who consigned stamps and covers to Regency-Superior for sale may not be paid.

He said that while the organization itself was a consignor to R-S auctions and stands to lose money, the APS also wants to stand up for its members and other consignors. English says it is not fair that material that they own should be seized by this creditor, a bank. He has director the APS attorney to look into the matter.

He also said that APS may get involved in seeking changes to bankruptcy law to protect future philatelic consignors. English said that in his past career in politics, he was at times involved in writing bankruptcy legislation.

English also disputed the assertion by the owner of Regency-Superior that the business failed because stamp collecting is dying. You can hear or read his comments in a Virtual Stamp Club radio feature (podcast).

On other subjects:

  • APS will be redoing its website to make it mobile-friendly and Google-friendly. Right now, it’s neither, and only 2% of its visits are from mobile devices (and he suspects that’s just himself and COO Ken Martin).
  • AmeriStamp Expo 2017 in Reno was on target for revenue, off target on expenditures, and resulted in a loss.
  • On finances, English deferred to APS Treasurer Bruce Marsden, who said APS/APRL finances are probably the healthiest they’ve been in the past 5-6 years.
  • English gives “all credit” to Robert A. Siegel Auctions for getting the most possible for the American Philatelic Research Library for the recently-recovered inverted Jenny airmail stamp. “That stamp should have sold for about $180,000,” English said. “It’s probably the most expensive reperfed stamp ever!”
  • A small shopping center is going into the vacant space right next to the American Philatelic Center, with six retail spaces. Its architectural style was influenced by and will be consistent with the APC.

Stanley Gibbons Firm Up For Sale

The world’s oldest stamp dealership, Stanley Gibbons, has put itself up for sale, according to a report by the BBC.

Although founded in London in 1856, Gibbons for many years has been headquartered on the Isle of Jersey, considered a tax haven. Gibbons, however, does maintain a retail store in London.

Stanley Gibbons also sells coins and antiques, but is most identified with rare stamps. For many years, the firm has had few if any philatelists among its management. It has attempted to make inroads in the online stamp collecting market, and for a very brief time, owned The Virtual Stamp Club.

Gibbons said it had received an offer by an investor, which the investor denied.

Scheuer’s Kansas-Nebraska Overprint Article Wins APS Award

Henry B. Scheuer’s article titled “Kansas-Nebraska Overprint Stamps: Why, Where, and When They Were Initially Sold” was selected as the 2016 winner of the United States Stamp Society/Barbara R. Mueller Award for the best article published in a single year of The American Philatelist. The award will be presented at the APS StampShow Celebration Banquet 2017 on August 5 in Richmond, Virginia.

More on the award and the article can be found on the APS website.

APS Names 2017 Carter Service Award Winners

The American Philatelic Society is recognizing Ed Andrews, Jack Congrove, Dawn Hamman, Ed & Judy Jarvis, and David McNamee for National Service to Philately, and Ed Laveroni, Sharon Newby, Gerald Nylander, Guy Purington, Roger Rhoads, Charles Shoemaker, Norm Shufrin, Roger Skinner, Tim Wait, and Ann Wood for Local Service.

Awards are presented each year at the APS General Meeting, this year on August 5 at StampShow 2017 in Richmond, Virginia. The Young Adult and Young Philatelist awards will be announced at a later date.

Brief bios of each recipient can be found on the APS website.

The Nicholas G. Carter Volunteer Recognition Award recognizes the outstanding efforts of our volunteers at national and local levels and also recognizes our younger members whose outstanding leadership is crucial to our future. The awards were been named in memory of Nick Carter who helped to establish them. Nick felt it was important to recognize those unsung heroes who contribute their talents, time and energies to benefit stamp collecting and the society.

U.S. Scott Catalogue Update (June 2017)

5191 (70¢) Robert Panara

5192 (49¢) Delicioso booklet stamp – Tamales
5193 (49¢) Delicioso booklet stamp – Flan
5194 (49¢) Delicioso booklet stamp – Sancocho
5195 (49¢) Delicioso booklet stamp – Empanadas
5196 (49¢) Delicioso booklet stamp – Chile Relleno
5197 (49¢) Delicioso booklet stamp – Ceviche
a. Block of 6, #5192-5197
b. Convertible booklet pane of 20, 4 each #5192-5193, 3 each #4194-5197

5198 ($1.15) Echeveria Plant
5199 (49¢) Boutonniere
5200 (70¢) Corsage