Philately as Art
3rd St. Petersburg Biennale of Museum Design
Еxhibition "Philately as Art"
9 October – 19 December, 2018
The six sections of the exhibition tell the visitor about what is the specificity of the work of the miniaturist artist in creating a stamp; whose portraits and what subjects appeared on stamps in Russia and the USSR in different years; how effectively the state used stamps as an instrument of agitation. For the first time, postage stamps and preparatory materials for their publication are presented as it had never been exhibited in the museum projects before.
The exposition presents the stamps of the famous “The Romanovs’ Series”, in the creation of which famous Russian artists Ivan Bilibin, Evgeny Lancere and Richard Zarrins participated; the work of the outstanding cartoonist Joseph Hanf; works by Ivan Dubasov, who for several decades was Acting Chief Artist of Goznak – State Administration for the Issue of Banknotes ; pre-revolutionary charity stamps; Soviet stamps dedicated to space exploration and Antarctic research, as well as many other rarities.
The design of the exhibition was developed by Gordon Ryan and Morten Torgersen, the design bureau Expology (Norway) with the support from the PRO ARTE Foundation and the Committee on Culture of St. Petersburg.
The exhibition will open in full on November 9, 2018 as part of the program of the 3rd St. Petersburg Biennale of Museum Design and will run until December 19, 2018.
Design: Gordon Rayan and Morten Torgersen (Norway)
Our mission was to expose the collection of A.S. Popov Museum’s stamp collection, in a way that allows a wider public to engage with the material.
The project had a number of interesting challenges such as massive exposure to daylight, as well as the placement within a visually busy atrium with multiple parallel exhibits and architectural features on site that would be competing for visitor attention. Another challenge, was that the beauty and significance of the stamp collection is not immediately obvious to the wider population.
Expology Designers Torgersen and Ryan, aimed to give visitors “new tools for understanding and appreciating postage stamps. How are they made? Who makes them? How are the themes selected and who has the power of that decision?” In parallel, the (insert name here) Director of A.S. Popov wished for the exhibition to be focused around the artists, and the art practice of stamp design.
“Stamps have a big message in a small format” says Torgersen “we were intrigued by the jumping back and forth in scale”. The early sketches of concept worked around numerous versions of zooming-in and zooming-out in a transition of scales. The designers were also looking for an eye-catching format that would attract immediate attention, and the impetus to inspect from a closer position. There was also a clear intention to create a strong vertical element, to anchor a series of smaller installations to a specific area of the courtyard.
“It was important to us to include an element of doing. And through that act of creating their own stamps, visitors can empathise better with the makers and controllers of stamps.” says Ryan. The exhibition format, settled on a framework that emphasises a jump in scale… It’s a calling to look closer, to magnify, to see better than first glance. The frames are colour-coded into easy to understand themes with one stamp pushed out to the front – an exemplary manifestation of the theme. Further background information and supportive material can be found on the rear side of the installation.
A.S.Popov Central Museum of Communication
Web site: www.rustelecom-museum.ru
Address: 4, Pochtamskii lane
Opening hours: 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Ticket office closed at 17:00
Closed: on Mondays
Adults – 200 RUB
Tickets to the exhibition – 100 RUB
General information: (812) 571-00-60
Activity Type : Design
Project: ST PETERSBURG BIENNALE OF MUSEUM DESIGN