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National Postal Museum Receives Howard Koslow Artwork Donation

Howard Koslow, artist and illustrator, has donated his collection of original artwork for the U.S. stamps that he designed between 1971 and 2013 to the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum.

Howard Koslow
Howard Koslow
The material consists mainly of highly developed “roughs” of accepted and unaccepted stamp designs in the form of pencil sketches and acrylic paintings. The final artwork for Koslow’s stamps resides in the Postmaster General’s Collection, a one-of-a-kind philatelic resource with unusual, rare and unique holdings, on long-term loan to the museum from the U.S. Postal Service.

A finding guide with a complete listing of stamps represented in the collection is available on the museum’s website.

Koslow graduated from Pratt Institute in New York in 1944. He then was an apprentice to Jean Carlu, the French poster artist, in his New York City studio. Koslow went on to study painting at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and continued his studies in graphics at the School of Visual Arts in New York. During his lengthy career, he developed a reputation for historical accuracy, which led to commissions from the U.S. Air Force, NASA—for whom he created official paintings of the Apollo 15 mission and the first launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour—the National Park Service and the U.S. Coast Guard. He received his first stamp commission from the Postal Service in 1971 for a stamp to mark the 10th anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty. Over the next four decades, Koslow designed 60 stamps for the USPS.

He is best known for his series of 30 stamps featuring lighthouses of the United States. The first appeared in 1990; the most recent set of five New England Coastal Lighthouses was issued July 13 of this year. Other notable stamps included issues for the bicentennials of the signing and ratification of the U.S. Constitution, Jazz Singers in the Legends of American Music Series and the Brooklyn Bridge centennial.

For more information call (202) 633-1000 or visit the museum website at