A United States Postal Service (USPS) Forever stamp is now available with an image of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). The stamp, which went on sale in October after a “First Day of Issue Dedication Ceremony” at the NMAAHC, depicts the northwest corner of the building’s unique three-tiered exterior, with the museum’s name in the upper-left corner.
“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 (see “A Long-Awaited National Treasure” in the January 2017 issue of interiors+sources). 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 a great honor.
“A stamp commemorating the NMAAHC is a fitting tribute to our capital’s new national treasure,” he said. “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. She said, “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.”