There’s More to Ducks Than Pretty Pictures

By Frank Correl




Thanks to an inspired collaboration at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, the world is finding out that there is much more to duck stamp collecting than just the federal stamps. The Feds had their day in the sun at the Postal Museum at the 1998-99 Federal duck stamp first day ceremony and the reopening of the Jeanette Rudy Duck Stamp Gallery on July 1. Now, the non-federal aspect of financing waterfowl hunting and conservation is the subject of a special exhibit of state, local and Indian reservation duck stamp issues that was inaugural at the Museum on July 4, 1998.

The exhibit in the Postal Museum’s Rarity Vault presents a selection of more than forty rare state, local and tribal waterfowl stamps from the prize winning personal collection of David R. Torre of Santa Rosa, California. Comprising pioneer issues and some outstanding rarities of this extensive and complex field, it was developed by the Museum’s project manager Jim O’Donnell, working closely with Torre, named as the guest curator.

The exhibit was opened at 10 a.m. on independence Day when Museum Director James Bruns and David’s son Eric cut the ribbon (see Figure 1). The group of invited guests made an appreciative tour, after having first been treated to a tasty breakfast of fruit, coffee bagels and pastries.



Figure 1. Eric Torre becomes the youngest person in history to cut the ribbon for a Smithsonian Exhibit – six years old.


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