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The Stamp of Creativity

One of Loraine Neff's stamp collages

One of Loraine Neff’s stamp collages

While designing for a maker of hand quilts in the 1930s, Jefferson County native Loraine Neff (1899-1994) saw two Chinese postcards depicting a man and woman dressed in clothing made of cancelled postage stamps.  Fascinated by this unique art, she put the cards in her “Retirement – To do” file, then returned to them 25 years later to take up the craft herself.

Stamp collage detail

Stamp collage detail

Five of Loraine Neff’s stamp collages are now part of the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives collections of WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections.  Delicate and colorful, they feature a bonneted country woman churning butter, hanging laundry, airing a patchwork quilt, rocking a cradle, and taking a winter stroll.  The elements of each, of course, are carefully cut from uncancelled postage stamps, which Neff would purchase from a dealer after sketching her idea and deciding on the colors to use.  “It has given me contentment because I lose myself in the art,” Neff wrote in a magazine article about her pastime.

Click here to download a finding aid for the Loraine S. Neff Collection.  And click here to see our recent blog about another stamp artist.  For more of our collections, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.

Loraine Neff stamp collage

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