Pushing the Envelope

Merit Award

Pushing the Envelope: The Art of the Postage Stamp Exhibition

Admired for their intrinsic beauty, stamps are our most accessible art form and offer striking insights into America's historic symbolism. The exhibition is organized in four gallery spaces. Special sections within the exhibition highlight Norman Rockwell's original art for two United States postage stamps and follow the making of a stamp from public request to published sheet. Wall surfaces are painted a consistent monochromatic color so that the stamps' rich color palettes are dominant. Original art is framed with white mats; frame moldings are painted the same color as the wall to offset the art itself. Large-scale quotes from the represented artists in the exhibition run continuously throughout the galleries as "typographic voices" for the exhibited work.

Each stamp and the story of its creation accompany the original work. Viewers are invited to discover the joys and challenges inherent in bringing a stamp to life. To bring out the difference between the original illustrations and the stamps created from them, clear acrylic panels hold one original stamp and detail each piece's history. For closer scrutiny, magnifying glasses are provided.

Jury Comments: 

"This quiet exhibit draws attention to the exquisite details of the objects displayed."

"I appreciate the elegant simplicity of the design. I think it takes a lot of courage as a designer to hold back and let the displayed pieces do the talking."

Design Firm: 

Poulin + Morris


The Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge

Location City: 

Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Project Area: 


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Photo Credits: 


Design Team: 

L. Richard Poulin (Principal in Charge), Jonathon Posnett


Stephanie Plunkett (Curator)



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