Returned Postcards

2013 / found postcards, contemporary postage, the postal system

One hundred found, previously written postcards originally sent to 100 homes in Cleveland between 1906 and 1998 were resubmitted to the postal system and sent back again to their orignial recipients.

74 postcards found their destination (again), 26 were returned to the return address at MOCA Cleveland where they were displayed in a numbered grid in the gallery. These returned postcards came back bearing the evidence of their second postal processing; double postmark rings, rubber-stamped “Insufficient postage” and handwritten codes and crossings out. The other postcards were perhaps received once again many years later by their original recipient, or by their children, or the people who have since moved into their house. A message from the past read again by perhaps the same, older eyes.

Booklet featuring scans and transcriptions of all 100 returned postcards available as (.pdf) download here.

Exhibited as part of Realization is Better than Anticipation at MOCA Cleveland, Ohio curated by Megan Lykins Reich and Rose Bouthillier.