Potter madness spells philatelic magic

An award-winning stamp exhibitor is hoping his fellow collectors can spread a little philatelic magic this fall in conjunction with the opening of an anticipated blockbuster movie.

Van Siegling, an Ohio resident and a member of the American Philatelic Society, is urging local stamp clubs to take advantage of the next wave of Harry Potter madness with the help of his philatelic exhibit on the boy wizard.

Siegling, with support from the APS and American Topical Association, is offering copies of his award-winning exhibit that can be displayed at theatres in conjunction with the release Nov. 18 of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a prequel to the Potter series.

Siegling said his effort at a movie theater in Kalamazoo, Mich. paid off.

“I borrowed some of the club exhibit frames and displayed my exhibit in one of the local theaters,” Siegling said, adding he did some promotion at a theatre in Kalamazoo, Mich. “That … effort (helped) build local acceptance and knowledge that a stamp club that put on shows existed in the area. Show attendance increased. Both the patrons and the theatre management loved it. I received many favourable comments while sitting by the exhibit.”


Siegling’s eight-frame, 128-page exhibit is called The Magical World of Harry Potter. It will next be exhibited Oct. 7-9 at Indypex 2016. Siegling will make scans of all the pages in PDF format, which he can send by e-mail to clubs.

Clubs can contact theatres to arrange lobby space to present the exhibit. If it’s agreed, clubs will need to print copies of the exhibit and set it up. Clubs should also consider staffing the exhibit area during peak movie times to explain the exhibit and hobby to anyone interested. Members should also have application forms and contact information for the local club, local stamp shows, the APS, and ATA.

For more information, and plenty of tips about the process, contact Siegling at siegling@yahoo.com.

British author J.K. Rowling first presented the young wizard Harry Potter along with a cast of magical characters almost 20 years ago in a series of books accompanied soon thereafter by movies, all of which were worldwide hits. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes place in 1926, about 70 years before the first Harry Potter book. Like the Potter series, the movie is filled with magical deeds, creatures, and plot twists.

Chapters interested in participating in the Harry Potter exhibit promotion should contact Judy Johnson at judy@stamps.org.

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