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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 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



Poster Stamps








What is mail art?  What are artistamps?



Imaginary Countries (in progress)




Poster Stamps and Artiststamps: Connections

Michael Bidner and Clemente Padin

Series: Poster Stamps and Artistamps




Mail Art and Ray Johnson



Add to and Returns





Oberlin and Mail Art

A History





Home         Poster Stamps          Poster Stamp Design        Poster Stamp Iconography         Ray Johnson      


Last updated:
October 18, 2013