Valentines and Expressions of Love

An original greeting card created by Nancy Rosin based on victorian designs.

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, the Larchmont Historical Society presented a lecture by Nancy Rosin – The Passionate Collector – Valentines and Expressions of Love. This talk and display of antique Valentines took place on Sunday, February 10th, 2pm, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Larchmont.

From the earliest tokens of affection – perhaps a feather, a flower, a shell, or a fern frond – evolved the paper gifts we cherish today. Objects given with respect, admiration, friendship, or love, continue to reflect our most sincere emotions. As handmade missives evolved, and demand increased, allied printing and manufacturing industries developed, technical achievements inspired new forms of accessible personal expression, and modern postal systems enabled them to be widely distributed. Each aspect of this history of personal communication is integral to a fascinating chronology.

Nancy Rosin

Nancy Rosin has been a passionate collector of Valentines and Expressions of Love for nearly forty years. Her collection of more than 10,000 items encompasses the full range of this theme – from birth, friendship, love and marriage, to mourning – and has become a formidable research archive. Nancy’s ultimate goal has always been to elevate this as a social documentary, that it may achieve the scholarly recognition it merits. While her primary focus has always been the Valentine, each passionate acquisition added another dimension, and the collection became even more important than ever envisioned.

Nancy’s interests have led her to be President of the National Valentine Collectors’ Association and President of the Ephemera Society of America. She has written extensively, and appeared on numerous television programs – enthusiastically sharing the beauty and history of these wondrous objects. Five books, recently created for the scrapbook industry, bring her ephemera into contemporary society, where reproduction and digital formats are able to reach a new audience. Speaking at New York’s American Folk Art Museum, she felt that she had, at last, brought Valentines – from Liebesbrief to Scherenschnitte – into the mainstream art world.

From "Adding Flight to the Wings of Cupid," a February 2011 article by Nancy Rosin in the American Stamp Dealer and Collector

She was honored to have been invited to share her passion at St Bride Library in London, bringing ‘home’ many familiar British images. Designers, printers and Valentines enthusiasts found that this passionate American collector shared their affection for the seductive charms of ‘the ephemera of love’ through the presentation, “Five Centuries of Heartfelt Design.”

Nancy writes extensively, and numerous articles have appeared nationally, as well as her own collectors’ video. Among her favorite experiences, now available online, were videos haring her Valentines with Martha Stewart Living, and on Charles Osgood’s Sunday Morning.