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“The Museum of Postcard Art!” by Richard F. Yates

Greetings Citizens! Today I’m coming to you in my persona of CURATOR, as I once again venture into the weird and wild world of POSTAL ART! I’m pleased as a white-washed pig to announce the INCEPTION of THE MUSEUM OF POSTCARD ART!

mopa #1 by rfy

What the hell is that? (I hear you mumbling through the microphone. You really need to be more careful…)

The Museum of Postcard Art is an everlasting and ever expanding monument to humans attempting to communicate with each other by the sending of words and images through some form of postal service. Because every game needs rules for it to be fun, this game, naturally, has rules, but I assure you that they are arbitrary and silly and destructive, so I’m not going against my personal, chaotic ethos by instituting them. Here are the rules to The Museum of Postcard Art:

  1. Each card officially entered into the “MUSEUM” must be able to fit into a 4 inch by 6 inch protective sleeve---the HOUSING for the physical museum itself. The museum, because I am relatively poor, is being kept in these cheap little photobooks, which have 24 “pages” and fit one image per page. This is probably the most ARBITRARY element of the game, as I could have picked 8.5 x 11 or 8 x 10 or 2 x 3 or any size as my base, and by excluding any postcards that are LARGER than 4 in. x 6 in., I am in fact excluding some of my favorite postcards that I own, but which are 5 x 7 inches in size! Regardless, all postcards included in the everlasting and ever expanding museum collection MUST fit in a 4 x 6 sleeve. If not, they don't get in!

  2. The second criteria for inclusion in the collection, each postcard MUST make some indication that it was intended to be MAILED (such as a place for a stamp or an address or something similar.) This restriction disqualifies a great many FLIERS and cool adverts that I’ve collected over the years that ALMOST look like postcards but were probably not meant to be mailed from person to person. (The museum is celebrating the attempt at communicating something, a joke, a photo, a possible destination, a bit of art, etc...)

  3. BONUS POINTS are awarded (although these are worthless) if the postcard is handmade, modified, unique, or one-of-a-kind-artist made! I have received hundreds of objects in the mail over the years (as a member of the wacky INTERNATIONAL UNION OF MAIL-ARTST---and, yes, that’s a real thing!), so if I can FIND any of these unique, fascinating pieces, AND they fit in the sleeves, I will include them in the collection!!!

  4. DOUBLE BONUS POINTS are awarded if the piece has evidence that it ACTUALLY went through the post! Cancelled postage, vintage cards with lovely scrawled messages, etc., these elements make the postcard more THRILLING, as these cards have actually fulfilled their destiny (ORIGINAL destiny---their FINAL destiny is being incorporated into the everlasting and ever expanding MUSEUM OF POSTCARD ART!)

And them’s the rules! If you’d like to start a SATELLITE branch of The Museum of Postcard Art, send me a note, and I’ll get you an OFFICIAL MOPA SATELLITE certificate! (Fancy!!!)

Without further ados or adon’ts, here are the FIRST TEN ENTRIES in THE MUSEUM OF POSTCARD ART!!!

---“Enchanted Forest” by Roger Tofte

mopa - 001a

mopa - 001b

---“Las Vegas” by Reno-Tahoe Specialty, Inc.

mopa - 002a

mopa - 002b

---“Las Vegas” by Reno-Tahoe Specialty, Inc.

mopa - 003a

mopa - 003b

---“Las Vegas” by Reno-Tahoe Specialty, Inc.

mopa - 004a

mopa - 004b

---“The Riviera Hotel and Casino” by Justine Hill

mopa - 005a

mopa - 005b

---“Las Vegas” by Buddy Moffet

mopa - 006a

mopa - 006b

---“Wet ‘N Wild” by Justine Hill

mopa - 007a

mopa - 007b

---“To the Disco (Unicorn Riding Triceratops)” by JEZKEMP

mopa - 008a

mopa - 008b

---“Doggo Lantern” by Hillary White

mopa - 009a

mopa - 009b

---“The Meteorologist” by MATTDIXONART

mopa - 010a

mopa - 010b

These are the first ten entries in the museum. Why these? Because I said so. Can I put anything I WANT in this collection? Yep. Does that reduce the “CREDIBILITY” of the collection? Nope. Why not? Ask Duchamp.

If you disagree with my selections, then start your OWN MUSEUM! (We can compare notes!)

Okay, now I need to get back to wasting time. I’ve spent far too long being productive today, and it’s been exhausting… Maybe I’ll go find a candy bar or something… Screw the diet. It’s Sunday…

---Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)

[For clarification, these images are SCANS, by me, from my personal collection of physical postcards, and the MUSEUM DOES PHYSICALLY EXIST! When it gets to be REALLY BIG, I'll take it on tour so all the folks in those weird, LITTLE TOWNS can see what postcards look like from all over the world! This post was originally published on my HIVE blog on 20 April 2020, but I've given myself permission to reprint it here---mostly because I think the whole WORLD should be allowed to see these awesome works of creativity, marketing, and human connection! #savetheusps 


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Richard F. Yates
Richard F. Yates

I'm an artist, author, poet, editor, and critic living in the Pacific Northwest. (Bigfoot Country!) I like weird stuff.

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