Philatelic exhibiting is a competitive aspect of the hobby that can bring a great deal of enjoyment, especially to experienced collectors who are looking for a new aspect of the hobby to enjoy. The section of the website will introduce you to the fascinating world of competitive exhibiting. For topicalists who have reached a level of completion in traditional collecting or who are tired of just filling spaces in pre-printed album pages, exhibiting can offer a new degree of interest and challenge with the hobby.
Most exhibitors find the rewards well worth the time and effort, one of the biggest rewards being the people you meet. Many life-long friendships in philately started with competitive exhibits at a stamp show. Helping other exhibitors is even more rewarding than the prizes our exhibits may receive. This portion of the website is only an introduction to competitive exhibiting. Numerous books and many philatelic articles have been devoted to exhibiting. Some of the best are listed and linked below.
Competitive exhibiting is continually evolving, especially thematic, topical, and display exhibits. Exhibiting and judging exhibits are best appreciated as art forms, and all art forms and other creative endeavors are continually evolving. To improve one’s abilities in almost any art form, a sound grounding in the fundamentals, a big dose of humility, and practice, practice, and more practice are helpful.
In exploration of the topic of exhibiting, Rob Henak (ATA Exhibits and Judges Chair) writes a regular column for Topical Time on exhibiting. The following articles are included as an introduction to the wonderful world of topical and thematic exhibiting.
APS Manual of Philatelic Judging and Exhibiting
The APS Manual of Philatelic Judging and Exhibiting (7th Edition) is the official guide for both exhibitors and the judges who evaluate their work. This manual is referenced in several of the articles above and governs the practices of competitive philatelic exhibiting. To read and download the manual, click here or on the manual icon to the left.