National Postal Museum Selects Daniel Piazza as New Chief Curator of Philately
As chief curator of philately, his responsibilities will include curating a permanent collection of approximately 6 million stamps and related artifacts; object selection and script writing/review for permanent and temporary exhibitions; representing the museum through presentations and attendance at professional conferences; collections-based research and writing; and seeking and acquiring items of outstanding significance for display and research purposes.
“We enjoy a great reputation for having exceptional curators at the helm of our philately department, and Daniel continues that tradition,” said Allen Kane, director of the museum.
Piazza joined the museum staff in 2007 as the inaugural Winton M. Blount chair in research. He became assistant curator of philately in 2008 and curator in 2011.
The museum’s William H. Gross Stamp Gallery features work curated by Piazza, including 6 linear videos, “Treasures of the World” exhibition, (45 world-class philatelic rarities from 24 countries) and “On Land and Sea” exhibition (methods for moving mail on land and sea, including significant groupings of 14th–18th-century letters and RMS Titanic postal artifacts).
Piazza also co-curated with Cheryl R. Ganz “Fire & Ice: Hindenburg and Titanic,” (March 22, 2012–Jan. 6, 2014) and “Delivering Hope: FDR & Stamps of the Great Depression,” (Sept. 9, 2009–June 6, 2010)
Piazza is currently curating “Freedom Just Around the Corner: Black America from Civil War to Civil Rights,” a chronicle of the African American experience, as told from the perspective of stamps and mail. The temporary exhibition open Feb. 12, 2015–Feb. 12, 2016, will include letters carried by enslaved Americans, mail to and from famous leaders of the civil rights movement and a significant selection of original artwork for the USPS Black Heritage stamp series from the Postmaster General’s Collection.
Piazza is also the author of a regular column, “National Postal Museum Treasures,” in Linn’s Stamp News and is president and chairman of NAPEX, one of the country’s largest annual stamp shows.
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, call (202) 633-1000 or visit the museum website at www.postalmuseum.si.edu.