Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Barnett Freedman and the GPO

One of the few collecting vices that have not tempted me is the collection of postage stamps. The graphic quality of stamps often display great merit but the general flim-flam that surrounds the activity of stamp collecting could hardly be more off-putting. But I found these the other day and realised they are the work of Barnett Freedman, designed for a royal event in 1935 and apparently rather controversial in their day. The rich and subtle tonal contrasts that Freedman deployed were unappreciated by many commentators to whose eyes they appeared unnecessarily brash and crude. Freedman had a reputation as a perfectionist and was unsparing in his efforts to get everything right and this unenthusiastic reception must have been a disappointment.

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