Postal Updates

Exhibition of secrets revealed on postcards opens at postal museum

August 10, 2015 09:56 AM

  • The “PostSecret: The Power of a Postcard” exhibition opened Aug. 3 at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.
  • A pyramid of more than 250,000 postcards represents the popularity of sharing secrets via postcards.

“PostSecret: The Power of a Postcard,” an exhibition of more than 500 secrets submitted on postcards, opened Aug. 3 at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C., and will run through September 2016.

The National Postal Museum describes the exhibition as a “contemporary narrative of mail and the postal service, highlighting the aesthetics of postcards and the juxtaposition between anonymity and shared experiences.”

The cards are part of PostSecret, an ongoing community art project organized by Frank Warren, where people mail in their never-before-told secrets anonymously on a postcard.

The cards are shared each Sunday on the PostSecret website.

Since 2004, Warren has received more than a half million postcards and has published six books of the postcard collections.

Hundreds of postcards and other objects that Warren has received are included in the exhibition. In addition, a pyramid of more than 250,000 stacked cards is on display to illustrate the popularity of sharing secrets via postcards.

A postcard design workshop also is being offered.

Warren said: “I believe that by telling the full story of PostSecret at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, we are honoring the secrets entrusted to me on postcards from people all over the world. I also hope that the exhibition will inspire others to tell their stories, discover their secret connections to others, and feel the power of a postcard.”

Sharon Klotz, exhibition director at the museum, said, “Our hope is that visitors will be inspired to think about other people’s secrets — and their own — as invitations for empathy, understanding and connection.”

Previous PostSecret exhibitions have been held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and at the Baltimore Visionary Museum.

The National Postal Museum is located at 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE, Washington, D.C., across from Union Station. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). For more information, visit the NPM website, or telephone 202-633-1000.