Envelope Art

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Envelope Art: Poster Stamps and Artistamps, 1890-1990

Envelope Art: Poster and Artistamps from 1890–1990 explores the humble envelope, vehicle for two rich and relatively unknown genres:

"Poster Stamps," a scarce and largely unknown genre, preserves turn-of-the-century European posters in miniature.  Since most posters from this era are lost due to their time sensitive content and awkward, inexpensive format, Poster Stamps preserve the unique visual culture of this fertile period.

"Artistamps" – unofficial postage stamps made by artists – spread imagery and ideology free from art market or political pressure. Artistamps are part of the international "Mail Art" movement (a.k.a. "Correspondence Art") that started in the 1950s. 

This show spotlights several Special Collections in the Art Library:  Poster stamps donated by Robert Biggert (OC '62), which date from the late 19th / early 20th c., and Artistamps from the Reid Wood (OC '70) and Harley mail art archives, dating from the second half of the twentieth century.

Emily Edison OC '08
Barbara Prior, Art Librarian

Last updated:
May 2, 2019