Postal Museum Looks at U.S. History With China

Friday, Mar 7, 2014  |  Updated 2:23 PM EDT
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Postal Museum Looks at U.S. History With China

Smithsonian Institution

The National Postal Museum

A new exhibition is looking at the history of Chinese and U.S. relations through mail and stamps at the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum.

The museum opened "Pacific Exchange: China and U.S. Mail" on Thursday to showcase pieces from its international collection for the first time.

Curators say it offers insights into the complex relationship between the world's largest economies. Highlights include an 1849 letter to an American opium trader, rare proofs of stamps from the China Bureau of Engraving and Printing and original artwork from the U.S. Postal Service's Lunar New Year stamps.

The exhibit follows the themes of commerce, culture and community spanning 1860 to 1980. The section on community follows the story of Chinese-Americans from the Gold Rush through today's celebrations of the Lunar New Year.

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