THE POST GOES POP
From November 10, 2006 to March 8, 2009 at the Canadian Postal Museum
From movies, music, books and more, postal themes show up everywhere in popular culture. Walk through this world of postal imagery in an exhibition that will leave you humming "Please, Mr. Postman!"
A JOURNEY THROUGH POSTAL IMAGERY
The Post Goes Pop highlights the wealth of postal imagery found in popular music, books, movies, TV programs, and advertising. Ironically, most of this imagery is drawn from the past from the days before e-mail, text messaging, and community mailboxes. The exhibition explores the source of the imagery, how it is used, and how it compares to the current reality.
The Post Goes Pop begins with a brief introduction. The rest of the exhibition is divided into four main zones:
Sealed with a Kiss
Formal love letters may be quite rare today, but they remain icons of true love and romance in popular culture. This section explores the passion and protocol of traditional love letters, illustrates their use in popular culture, and examines their contemporary equivalents.
Wish You Were Here
The focus of this section is the vacation postcard, once considered the fast and affordable way to send holiday news and greetings complete with exotic images to the folks back home. Jet travel and e-mail have changed the postcard's role, but in popular culture it remains a powerful symbol of travel, independence, and adventure.
Please, Mr. Postman
Letter carriers have always been the public face of the postal service. They used to be known throughout their neighbourhoods, bearing the postal flag to every door, along with their eagerly-awaited deliveries. Today, for a variety of reasons, their public profile is greatly diminished. But the old reality lives on in popular culture.
Letters marked "Special Delivery" or "Registered" command our attention and pique our curiosity like nothing else we receive by mail. After all, it must be something important to merit such special status perhaps a credit card, a passport, or a legal document. This section explores the use of "Special Delivery" imagery in marketing and other forms of popular culture. Also explored here is the postal service's reputation for security and reliability, and how that reputation is reflected in popular culture.
As the Post Goes Pop
The exhibition concludes with a final message: postal images are everywhere in our lives, and it can be both fun to spot them and fascinating to contemplate their origins and meanings.
COME PLAY WITH THE POST
Come play with the postal imagery in the exhibition’s fun interactive zones. You’ll be able to watch movies and TV clips, and even sing a popular postal-themed tune!
In the zone devoted to love letters, you can sing to popular songs related to romance and the mail, such as Please Mr. Postman by The Beatles, The Letter ("My baby, she wrote me a letter"), popularized by Joe Cocker; and Stevie Wonder's Signed, Sealed, Delivered. Music and lyrics are supplied. You can also listen to the original versions of these songs if they prefer.
Want to send an e-postcard to family or friends from the Canadian Postal Museum? Now you can with a computer set up for just that purpose in the postcard zone. The messages will feature images from the exhibition.
Look for the house façade in the letter carrier zone, then ring the doorbell, open the mailbox, or push the mail slot. What you'll hear are stories or anecdotes from a letter carrier. The same section has a children's reading corner with books such as the Jolly Postman series.
Postal Imagery Challenge
Play this fun match-up game in the exhibition's final section. The game features a collage of images drawn from the other zones. You are given two challenges. First, you must try to group the objects according to the exhibition's themes. Second, you must try to match historical objects with their contemporary counterparts.
In every zone of the exhibition, you can watch a collage of mail-related clips from popular movies and television shows. The TV clips are from popular programs such as The Simpsons, Survivor, and Degrassi: The Next Generation. Movie clips are from films such as Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Amélie, and II Postino.