Gateway to Montana's Artistic Legacy

Exhibit Archives

The Graceful Envelope
 May 27 to July 17, 2004

Ode to O'Keeffe, by Karen Leigh & Gini Ogle
Ode to O'Keeffe
Collaboration by Karen Leigh and Gini Ogle

The Graceful Envelope includes 135 stamped, canceled, delivered, juried, and awarded works that are sure to draw interest from stamp enthusiasts and calligraphers alike. 
In their various styles and media, the envelopes range from colorfully contemporary to delicately old-fashioned -- from whimsical and witty to poignant and sentimental. 
The stamp is often an integral aspect of the envelope's design, whether incorporated directly into the illustration or used simply to accent the artist's theme.

 The Graceful Envelope is a charming exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum which proves that the art of the stamped and mailed envelope still exists, even with e-mail, fax, and other immediate communications. 
The Graceful Envelope
features award-winning artistic envelopes mailed to the National Postal Museum by calligraphers and artists in an annual competition which began in 1995. What followed was altogether unexpected. The museum received more than 200 stunningly crafted envelopes from around the world. The remarkable assortment of entries inspired the museum to offer the program annually and produce an art exhibition from each year's best. 
The exhibit includes envelopes by Kalispell artists Gini Ogle and Karen Leigh (pictured above), as well as envelopes by Montana artists Virginia L. Meltzer, Jody Reiner, Deborah Parsons Menke, Barbara A. Garfield, and Robert Clifton Morrison.
Smithsonian Institution
Traveling Exhibition Service

The Graceful Envelope will be accompanied by a special showing of a Charles M. Russell illustrated letter and envelope loaned from private collections. Russell, who has been called "the word painter," could have been called the father of the illustrated letter and envelope. In a letter dated 1919, he wrote eloquently, with his typical phonetic way of spelling: 
Betwine the pen and the brush there is little difforence but I believe the man that makes word pictures is the greater.

Hockaday Museum of Art  
302 Second Ave. East, Kalispell, Montana, 59901

(406) 755-5268  -  FAX (406) 755-2023