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Post Modern Post announcement
The Post Modern Post Announcement, featuring the commemorative stamp and cancel created for the show.

Photo courtesy of
Wardell Photography
Harley with stamp  



Post Modern Post
Artistamps at the Sonoma County Museum
February 7 – April 27, 2003
From the Curator's Statement

Long lived is the lowly postage stamp! Sir Rowland Hill first confined Queen Victoria to the ultimate in miniature art in 1840, when he gave England the first postage stamp. After over 150 years, the vitality of the
medium continues to grow. Instead of being outmoded by the advance of technology, the postage stamp has absorbed each new technical advance to produce a new manifestation of itself.

The merging of philately and the avant garde in the fine arts of the 20th Century has created the opportunity for a unique and rich dialogue. This dialogue has involved a fascinating array of personalities ranging from Czeslaw Slania (the world’s foremost stamp engraver) to Ray Johnson (a founding father of mail art, the genre in which artistamps have flourished), Michael Bidner ( the
Canadian artist who coined the term “artistamp”) and the hundreds of artists, both known and obscure, who have made artistamps.

Artistamps came to full flower as a medium in the decade of the 1970s. In spite of many defections to the net as the new medium of the moment, the making of artistamps continues to engage the interest of not only older artists but a constant stream of new enthusiasts as well. In spite of its age, the fascination of the stamp as a format for contemporary art has lost none of its allure.

The Sonoma County Museum will present an international survey of artistamps curated by Harley. Harley, working from his country “Terra Candella”, has been an active member of the artistamps community since 1975. This exhibition will contain the works of contemporary artists from many countries as well as the United States.

Harley, Curator
February, 2003

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