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John Foster

A Philatelist’s Dream


I would think that any designer or illustrator would consider the opportunity to design a postage stamp as a highlight of their career. Stamps are seen by entire populations, coveted by collectors, and have many years of longevity, as far as ephemera goes.

This week, I take you to a wonderful online museum called Memory of the Netherlands, where I discovered a collection called “150 Years of Design for the Dutch Postal Service.” Thinking I would find an archive only of printed stamps, I discovered something far more interesting — the preliminary sketches, production notes and overlays that tell a far different story. For me, some of these examples slip away from their hard realities and take on the momentary context of fine art collage and drawing.

The Memory of the Netherlands is an image library making available the online collections of museums, archives and libraries. The library provides access to images from the collections of more than one hundred institutions and includes photographs, sculptures, paintings, bronzes, pottery, modern art, drawings, stamps, posters and newspaper clippings. In addition there are also video and sound recordings to see and listen to. The Memory of the Netherlands offers an historic overview of images from exceptional collections, organized by subject to provide easy access.


A Philatelist’s Dream
Designer: Dirk van Gelder, 1951

A Philatelist’s Dream
Designer: Gerrit Noordzij, 1974

A Philatelist’s Dream
Designer: Walter Nikkels, 1977

A Philatelist’s Dream
Designer: Kees Kelfkens, 1985

A Philatelist’s Dream
Designer: Kees Nieuwenhuijzen, 1986

A Philatelist’s Dream
Designer: Auke de Vries, 1967

A Philatelist’s Dream
Designer: Paul Roelof Citroen, 1949

A Philatelist’s Dream
Designer: Paul Roelof Citroen, 1949

A Philatelist’s Dream
Designer: René Put, 2008

A Philatelist’s Dream
Designer: Cobbenhagen en Hendriksen, 2007

A Philatelist’s Dream
Designer: Experimental Jetset, 2000

A Philatelist’s Dream
Designer: Tessa van der Waals, 1988

A Philatelist’s Dream
Designer: Willem van Zoetendaal, 1992

A Philatelist’s Dream
Designer: Catherine van der Eerden, 1998

A Philatelist’s Dream
Designer: Rineke Dijkstra, 1996

A Philatelist’s Dream
Designer: Gielijn Escher, 1996

A Philatelist’s Dream
Designer: Montse Hernandez Sala, 1993

A Philatelist’s Dream
Designer: Arthur Meyer, 1994

A Philatelist’s Dream
Designer: Harry Nico Sierman, 1995

A Philatelist’s Dream
Designer: Irma Boom, 1992

A Philatelist’s Dream
Designer: Tessa van der Waals, 1993

A Philatelist’s Dream
Designer: Total Design, 1982

A Philatelist’s Dream
Designer: Gerrit Noordzji, 1964; Illustrator: Mien van den Beucken

Posted in: Accidental Mysteries, Culture, Design History

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