The Malta Independent 26 June 2019, Wednesday

Maltapost To have its own postal museum

Malta Independent Friday, 24 September 2010, 00:00 Last update: about 6 years ago

Maltapost plc will have its own postal museum which is planned to exhibit artefacts related to the postal services collected over the years since the service was introduced in Malta.

Maltapost chairman Joe Said spoke about the museum during the inauguration ceremony of a philately exhibition about the postage stamp artwork of the late Emvin Cremona at the Fine Arts Museum.

Premises, which are centrally located, have been earmarked for the museum, which will house all of Maltapost’s archives and will offer visitors a holistic experience on the technique and art involved in stamp printing.

Maltapost collaborated with Heritage Malta to hold the Cremona exhibition, entitled ‘Shaping a modern identity in Malta philatelic heritage’.

Valletta-born, Mr Cremona started to contribute to philately in 1957. His designs raised the profile of Malta’s stamp production during a time of important political developments. His first work in philately was a set of stamps commemorating the 15th anniversary of the award of the George Cross to Malta. His last designs featured a set of stamps marking Freedom Day on 31 March 1979.

Mr Cremona’s designs defined and established the imagery of a particular timeframe through his innovative stamps. He even challenged the basic standard format of stamp design itself and often adopted daring and contrasting colours as well as creative shapes.

At the time, the government commissioned Harrison and Sons Ltd to print Mr Cremona’s designs. They once stated that Mr Cremona’s designs always posed a challenge for the printers. However, they described his work as masterpieces.

Mr Cremona introduced the pure abstract into Maltese stamps. This is often considered as having been quite a radical change in the 1960s and 1970s, especially in stamp design. Most of his work tends towards abstraction, but only a few are subjective non-representational works exploring pure form and colour. The land remains a major root of Malta’s identity and Mr Cremona’s stamp designs bear witness to this.

Traditional icons such as churches and other historic buildings are prominent in his stamps.

The artist did not shy away from highlighting newer trends in Maltese culture related to Malta’s post-colonial history such as tourism-related activities like water-skiing for example.

The human figure is also a major source of influence in his designs. His concentrated and essential rendering of the figure is in the hard-edge technique practices by other artists in the 1960s.

Malta’s first stamp was issued 10 years after stamps were invented in 1840. Two hundred different stamps were issued between 1850 and 1950, while 500 different stamps were issued in the next 10 years. Until 1950, stamps were mostly inspired by the political situations in our country, especially by Malta’s colonial past. Malta’s milestones were all commemorated on stamps. The exhibition will remain open until the 17 October from 9am till 4.30pm. It will also be open during the Notte Bianca event tomorrow.

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