Director of Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum bids farewell

Allen Kane, director of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum (NPM) for the past 14 years, has announced he will step down from his position this month.

Kane became NPM director in 2002, after serving more than 30 years with the United States Postal Service (USPS) in a variety of senior leadership positions. Among his proudest accomplishments was his management of the Gulf War Crisis Team, which ensured the successful delivery of 1.13 million kilograms of mail to U.S. troops every day.

“Serving as Director of this incredible museum has been an honour and a joy,” said Kane.

“During my time here I have seen remarkable changes: new exhibitions, public programs, and the growth of the museum as a world-renowned research resource. Especially important to me was the opening of the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery which doubled the size of the Museum and made the museum the largest centre for philately in the world.

“During my time as Director, the museum exhibited many rarely seen and internationally famous stamps, as well as important collections such as the Benjamin Miller Collection and the Royal Collection of Queen Elizabeth II. We arranged for the long term loan of the U.S. Postmaster General’s Stamp Art collection and for the display of the world’s rarest stamp, the British Guiana One-Cent Magenta. The award-winning collections website, Arago, made its debut providing unprecedented access to the philatelic and postal history collections of the Museum and encouraging expert involvement in their curation. The museum built on that participatory model in developing website features for acquiring oral histories of postal workers and for documenting the incredibly broad and robust mailing industry. The museum has grown its research and educational programs, readily welcomed school groups, initiated the building of the Byrne educational loft, and began the Maynard Sundman lecture series. These are just a few of the wonderful accomplishments that have taken place during my tenure.

“I would like express my gratitude to you one last time. Your financial contributions over these past years have allowed the vision for our museum to become a reality. The exhibits, collections, and public programs are funded with private philanthropy by individuals such as yourself. I’ve been enormously touched by the kindness of our donor community over the past 14 years. Thank you for your part in making this museum so remarkable. I hope you will continue to support the museum through this exciting time of change.

“Thank you again for your generosity and commitment to the museum.”

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