Stamp collectors, stamp enthusiasts, philatelists, and everyday users of first-class postage from the U.S. Postal Service will soon be able to delight in a Forever® stamp emblazoned with an image of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). The stamp, which will go on sale tomorrow morning after a “First Day of Issue Dedication Ceremony” at the NMAAHC, depicts the northwest corner of the building’s unique three-tiered exterior, with text in the upper-left corner referencing the museum’s name.
“Black history is inseparable from American history, and the black experience represents a profound and unique strand of the American story,” a statement by the Postal Service reads. “This stamp issuance recognizes the richness of that experience by celebrating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.”
The NMAAHC, which opened on September 24, 2016, honors the social, economic, and cultural contributions that African Americans have made to the nation over the last several centuries. It includes exhibition galleries, an education center, a theater, an auditorium, a cafeteria, a store, and offices. At 400,000 square feet—with 60 percent of the structure underground—it was one of the largest and most complex building projects in the country, and the most sustainable national museum ever built.
For Phil Freelon, design director of Perkins+Will’s North Carolina practice and the lead architect of the four-firm team that designed the NMAAHC, the production and national circulation of a first-class postage stamp celebrating the museum is an immense honor.
“A stamp commemorating the NMAAHC is a fitting tribute to our capital’s new national treasure,” Freelon says. “This recognition by the U.S. Postal Service underscores the importance of the museum as a building and an institution.”
Zena Howard, managing director of Perkins+Will’s North Carolina practice and senior project manager on the NMAAHC, worked closely with the Smithsonian Institution and the Postal Service to select the photograph used on the stamp.
“It’s been incredible to see the impact this museum has had on our nation. To know that it’s now the iconic face of an American postage stamp that will be seen by the eyes of millions more people around the world is both electrifying and humbling,” Howard says.
For more information about the NMAACH Forever® stamp and tomorrow’s dedication ceremony, and/or to request images of the stamp for publication, visit the newsroom at www.usps.com.
To learn more about Phil Freelon’s and Zena Howard’s journeys as they worked on the design of the NMAAHC, watch the brief six-part video series In Their Own Words.