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Topical Exhibiting & Judging 1 Frame Exhibits

by Eileen Meier
(OWA 06/00 - Part 1)

(8kb Read the article in pdf format. pdf version)

Rereading my article "Why Exhibit?" I realized that I had omitted mention of a synopsis page. The exhibit prospectus for National Topical Stamp Show 99 states that each entry must be accompanied by a "photocopy of the title page and the plan page; in the absence of a plan page, a one page synopsis is required". I never did a synopsis page as I had done a first draft of my Hercules combined title and plan page before I began to do my exhibit pages as a guide for me to follow.

In preparation for doing this article I wrote to Ann Triggle, the US representative to the FIP Thematic Commission. I asked for her opinion on the need for a synopsis for a one frame exhibit. She answered that "a synopsis is just as important for a one frame exhibit as for a multi-frame as it helps the judges understand your exhibit better".

I would greatly appreciate it if any OWASU members have done a synopsis page for an archaeology exhibit to send it to me for my guidance. If the member is willing to share his/her synopsis page with the entire membership I will send them to George so that he may include them in a future issue.

To date, 2 February 1999, I have not received any requests for reference photocopies on one frame exhibiting! The members have not sent in any questions about my first article.

With no feedback I do not know if a series on topical exhibiting and judging will be of interest and use to journal readers.

I will complete this article and wait for reader letters to me at POB 369, Palmyra, Virginia, 22963, or to our editor, George Holland, before I do another installment.

Having CFS and severe arthritis I do not have the energy or the ability to sit and write for long periods of time to write articles that no one wants to read. If there is interest, I will be happy to continue this series. Thank you in advance for your letters.

I failed to mention that the Ameristamp Expo 93 prospectus included much helpful information for the first ever one-frame exhibition held in the US. This information of 1993 is just as valid today as when it was first published.

I am asking our editor to publish these guidelines and the Philatelic Elements Check List in full size so that the information will become a part of our OWASU reference files. (Editor's Note. They have been added at the end of the story on Pages 13 and 14.)

If one decides to exhibit, I strongly recommend that you carefully study the Philatelic Elements Checklist prepared by Mary Ann Owens. Mary Ann is a well known, knowledgeable thematic exhibitor and judge.

If anyone has questions about topical judging or understanding and using the Philatelic Elements Check List please drop me a line.

Now I will give you ideas on how to do the pages 2 through 16 by showing the reader how I improved my one frame exhibit over three different versions.

Looking at the first version of the second page one sees an all single stamp page. This shows a lack of philatelic knowledge of philatelic elements available for my topic. One needs to go beyond the ATA Hercules stamp checklist and search dealer stock and auction listings for appropriate meters, cancellations, postal stationery, etc., to gain a high point count for philatelic knowledge from the judges. Always seek out philatelic items in the best possible condition as the judges will mark you down for poor condition in the quality category.

Major problems:

I had devoted two pages to why Hercules performed the twelve labors but didn't tell the reader that was my intent.

Other problems:

The downward arrows need to be reversed as father precedes the son in the thematic text.

Unclear what the right hand arrow points to, i.e., Alceme in the window.

Hermes stamp will not get one point for philatelic knowledge as judges will expect to see a classical Hermes issue from Greece here.

Try to avoid the use of Paraguay (1977 Scott 1712), a country known for issuing many stamps not for local use but to sell mint to stamp collectors for profit as they will not be used to perform postal service. As Paraguay is the only stamp showing Hera and baby Zeus together it can be used in a pinch. The painting is titled "The Birth of the Milky Way". Information from the FAP Paintings Checklist - artist Paul Peter Rubens (1577-1640 done 1636-37, oil on canvas, size 181 x 244 centimeters, Madrid, Prado.

Heracles* was the son of the chief Greek god, Zeus (Jupiter) and the mortal Queen Alcmene (Alcemene).

The messenger god, Hermes (Mercury) brought Heracles to Olympus where Zeus placed him to suckle on his ' wife's breast. Awaking the goddess Hera (Juno) angrily pushed Heracles away; her milk spraying across the heavens to become the Milky Way.

*He was called Alcides, Alcaeus or Palaemon, according to different accounts; the name Heracles came later.

Location - the label states that the picture is in London, England. The discrepancy in location might have been caused by the fact that Rubens did two similar paintings or unlikely Prado sold this work to the London Museum.

Our topic is the Twelve Labors of Hercules and not an art history of Hercules in art; however, one tends to learn more thematic information than is possible to include in a page write-up. Books consulted do not always agree! A solution is to keep researching and write an article on your findings for a philatelic publication.

It should be noted that until one can find a definitive answer, which might not be possible, the solution to the problem is to make use of a footnote on the page making note that scholars don't agree but you have used the most commonly used version for your exhibit or something to that effect.

Second Page: First version of the exhibit did not have a plan page so viewer was not aware of the way in which the story would be told. The title "The Greek Hero Heracles" was not sufficient to tell the reader that pages 2 and 3 were telling the story of why Heracles had to perform the twelve labors and was corrected in the second version.

On the earlier page two there were problems as I had identified the stamp design subjects above the stamp on this page. I had trusted the order of the text.

The Greek Hero Heracles

As an illegitimate son of Zeus, Heracles was subject to *Hera's jealousy and she caused him to go mad and kill his children. When sanity returned, Heracles went to the Oracle at Delphi; to ask how to atone for his dreadful deed. He was ordered to perform twelve labors for King Eurytheus and change his name to Heracies, meaning glory of Hera.

*Hera, goddess of marriage

To indicate the order of the subjects shown on the philatelic material. Wrong, the reader is confused, i.e., first stamp on left, Italy 1973 (Scott 1128), shows only Hercules as one of many statues as part of the Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy.

Hercules is in the center niche to his right is a figure of Health and to his left a figure of Fertility. All statuary are by Pietro Bracci. The FAP Sculpture Checklist also informs us that the Trevi Fountain was begun by Nicola Salvi aided by a Gian Lorenzo Berini drawing and took from 1732 to 1762 to complete.

Zeus is not included in the statues of the Trevi Fountain.

I had this information in my library at home and an arrow to the center niche with name Heracles might have helped - but where was a philatelic presentation of his father Zeus? The identification of the subjects depicted on every stamp on this page was corrected when the exhibit was redone.

The meter from India using the name Hercules in connection with strength and stability is definitely in place here.

- on to part 2 -


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