Displaying items by tag: US Postal Service

A masterpiece created by an unknown Peruvian painter in the 1700s graces this year’s religious Christmas postage stamp from the U.S. Postal Service.

The stamp features a detail from a large oil on canvas painting titled Our Lady of Guápulo. The original painting is more than 5 feet high and 3 feet wide and hangs in Gallery 757 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Painted in the 18th century by an unknown artist in Cuzco, Peru, the painting – which is actually based on a copy of a sculpture – features an enrobed Virgin Mary in a pyramidal gown speckled with jewels and holding a scepter woven with roses and leaves. The crowned figure looks down at a similarly adorned Christ Child in her left arm. Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp.

The stamp was dedicated October 20 in a first day ceremony and is being sold in double-sided panes of 20 (booklet). The first day of issue postmark is New York, N.Y.

Angela Curtis, vice president in charge of Retail and Post Office Operations for the Postal Service hosted the stamp’s dedication in a virtual ceremony on Facebook (above).

“Between the 16th and 18th centuries European painters worked with indigenous artists in and around Cuzco, Peru, teaching them the styles and forms that were popular in Europe,” Curtis said. “The paintings in Cuzco reflected the influence of late Renaissance and Baroque eras as well as the native Peruvian, many of whom were of Incan descent.”

Tey Marianna Nunn, director and chief curator at the National Hispanic Cultural Center and Art Museum, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, also took part in the virtual dedication.

She noted that “Our Lady Guápulo” is a classic example of the unique Cuzco (or Cusco) style of panting that existed in the 16th through 18th centuries and continues to influence artists today.

“One of my favorite elements of the Cuzcos style of painting,” Nunn said, “is the Baroque attention the artist paid to every detail, from the Virgin’s delicate veil to the lace that embellishes both her gown and that of her child. The elaborate patterning and fine painting techniques are simply amazing."

Cuzco (or Cusco), a city in the Peruvian Andes in southeastern Peru, was once capital of the Inca Empire, and is now known for its archaeological remains and Spanish colonial architecture. The Cuzco School was a Roman Catholic artistic tradition during the Colonial period, in the 16th through 18th centuries.

The museum’s description of the painting said the “richly dressed and adorned sculpture depicted in this work originated as a copy of the Spanish Virgin of Guadalupe, commissioned in 1584 by a confraternity of merchants in Quito (Ecuador).” That sculpture was created by Spanish artist Diego de Robles.

Guápulo is a parish of Quito, nearly 2,000 miles away from Cuzco. It also is home to the Our Lady of Guápulo Franciscan Sanctuary built in the second half of the 17th century.

The painting is named for the sanctuary “where the miracle-working image was venerated,” the museum said, adding that “it was invoked by devotees who sought the Virgin Mary’s aid and protection.”

“During last quarter of the 17th century, a painted copy of the sculpture was carried throughout the Andes on a mission to gather alms for the construction of a new sanctuary, resulting in a demand for locally produced copies like this one by a Cuzco painter,” the museum’s description said.

The painting from which the stamp image was cropped shows the full length of Mary, who is holding a rose, an emblem of her deep love of God, according to Catholic tradition. It includes the framed faces of six cherubs – not seen on the stamp – looking out from the bottom of the artwork.

Source: stamps.org

Published in News

On today’s date in 1919, Alexander Graham Bell’s Hydrodome number four (HD-4) set a new world water speed record of 114 km/h—a record that stood for a full decade.

The hydrofoil watercraft was designed and built at Bell Boatyard on Bell’s Beinn Bhreagh estate, near Baddeck, N.S.

“The sight alone was exhilarating, and the actual ride even more so,” reads Robert Bruce’s 1973 book, Bell: Alexander Graham Bell and the Conquest of Solitude, which adds one visitor wrote, “At fifteen knots you feel the machine rising bodily out of the water, and once up and clear of the drag she drives ahead with an acceleration that makes you grip your seat to keep from being left behind. The wind on your face is like the pressure of a giant hand and an occasional dash of fine spray stings like birdshot. … She doesn’t seem to heel a degree as she makes the turn. It’s unbelievable-it defies the law of physics, but it’s true.”

“Bell himself would never ride in her,” adds Bruce.

“A newsreel photographer (one of several who showed up at Baddeck in that Jubilant season) got Bell to sit in the cockpit of the moored craft, but Bell insisted on having Baldwin’s small son beside him to negate any false imputation of daring. Mabel was furious with herself later for not having gone down to make her husband go for a spin while he was in the boat.”

Bell left Scotland in 1870 before settling in Brantford, Ont., where he worked on his new invention – the telephone – from 1874-76. Owing to his incredible technological advancements, he’s remembered in Scotland as well as Canada as one of the most significant inventors of the 19th and 20th centuries.

The HD-4 at Baddeck, N.S., where it set a world water speed record of 114 km/h in 1919.

According to Bruce, Bell’s first hydrofoil, the HD-1, reached speeds of 72 km/h in 1911. The next year it reached 80 km/h.

Bell’s next hydrofoil, the HD-2, broke apart before it could set any further records. As the HD-3 was being built around the start of the First World War, a moratorium was imposed on hydrofoil development and all further testing was halted.

Finally, in 1919—at a time when the world’s fastest steamship couldn’t even reach 50 km/h—the HD-4 set a world record of 114 km/h.


The U.S. Postal Service featured Bell on a 10-cent stamp issued in 1940.

On March 3, 1947, Canada’s Post Office Department (now Canada Post) featured the Scottish-born inventor on a four-cent commemorative stamp (Scott #274) marking the centenary of his birth and honouring his monumental discoveries.

Printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company, the deep blue stamp was designed by Herman Schwartz and engraved by Silas Allen.

In 1936, Bell was also listed first on the U.S. Patent Office’s list of great inventors, leading to the U.S. issuing a commemorative stamp featuring Bell in 1940 as part of its Famous Americans series.

In 1922, Bell died in Nova Scotia at the age of 75.

Source: canadianstampnews.com

Published in News
Tuesday, 25 August 2020 05:16

Bugs Bunny stamps now available nationwide

The U.S. Postal Service issued the Bugs Bunny commemorative Forever stamps today, the character’s 80th birthday.

The Bugs Bunny stamps were dedicated in a virtual ceremony and are now being sold at Post Office locations nationwide and online at usps.com/bugsbunny80.

“It’s a special privilege to celebrate the 80th anniversary of one of the most popular and iconic characters in history”, said dedicating official Kristin Seaver, chief information officer and executive vice president, U.S. Postal Service. “Bugs is both timeless and timely, a quick-change artist who can get out of a jam, win any battle, through his wits and clever disguises. He simply summons up whatever talent, costume or personality is needed to escape every perilous situation.”

Seaver was joined for the ceremony by Pete Browngardt, executive producer of “Looney Tunes Cartoons,” and Alex Kirwan, supervising producer of “Looney Tunes Cartoons.” The virtual stamp event can be viewed on the Postal Service’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

The stamp artwork was developed in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, featuring work from Warner Bros. Animation artists. The stamps show iconic moments of Bugs Bunny’s career. The Warner Bros. Animation artists also created the sketches on the back of the stamp pane. Greg Breeding was the designer, and William J. Gicker served as art director for the Postal Service.

The Bugs Bunny pane of 20 stamps will be issued as Forever stamps, meaning they will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1‑ounce price. News of the stamps is being shared on social media using the hashtags #BugsBunnyStamps and #BugsBunny80.


Since his debut in the short-subject cartoon “A Wild Hare” in 1940, generations of audiences have cheered Bugs’ gleeful gusto, quick wit and endless clever resourcefulness. To outwit the opposition, he can conjure dynamite, cherry pies and mallets out of thin air; dance like a seasoned hoofer; play piano; and conduct orchestras. He summons up any talent — and any costume — that will help him thwart his relentless foes.

Born of a team of young animators who produced Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons for Warner Bros., Bugs’ name came from one of those early cartoonists; “Bugs” and “Bugsy” were trendy nicknames at the time, signifying a crazed or wacky disposition. The catchy alliterative sound of “Bugs Bunny” partnered well with the names of cohorts Porky Pig and Daffy Duck.

Bugs’ very first line, “What’s up, Doc?” — unusual slang blurted out with the accent and wise-guy attitude of a street-smart New Yorker — had audiences howling and became the instant catchphrase of the “wascally wabbit,” as he was called by his first foe, the hapless hunter Elmer Fudd.

With global star power, Bugs Bunny has graced screens of all sizes, from television and movies to phones and tablets. Eighty 11-minute episodes of the new “Looney Tunes Cartoons”reintroduce Bugs Bunny along with other marquee Looney Tunes characters in gag-driven shorts that include classic storylines adapted for present-day audiences. The Oscar-winning rabbit has also been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Postal Products

Customers may purchase stamps and other philatelic products through The Postal Store at usps.com/shopstamps, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), by mail through USA Philatelic, or at Post Office locations nationwide.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Source: Bugs Bunny stamps now available nationwide – Newsroom – About.usps.com

Published in News
Wednesday, 29 July 2020 09:55

USPS announces 2020 Holiday stamps

The U.S. Postal Service revealed Tuesday, its Holiday Season Stamp Releases.

Something for Everyone This Coming Holiday Season. The issue dates of the five Forever stamps will be announced at a later date.

Here are the stamps, with detail provided by the USPS:

Our Lady of Guápulo

This Christmas stamp features a detail of the painting “Our Lady of Guápulo.”

Painted in the 18th century by an unknown artist in Cuzco, Peru, “Our Lady of Guápulo” is from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Enrobed in a pyramidal gown speckled with jewels and holding a scepter woven with roses and leaves, a crowned Virgin Mary looks down at a similarly adorned Christ Child in her left arm.

Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp.

 Winter Scenes

Winter Scenes celebrates the beauty and serenity of seasonal sights amid snowy landscapes. The 10 different photographs featured in this booklet of 20 stamps showcase the special allure of winter, with iconic scenes from the northern United States.

Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamps with existing images taken by various photographers.

Holiday Delights

Celebrate the holidays with Holiday Delights. Inspired by folk art but with a modern graphic vibe, these charming stamps will add a touch of whimsy to your holiday mailings.

With a traditional palette of red, green and white, illustrator Kirsten Ulve channeled her love of Christmas, vintage ornaments and Scandinavian folk art to create unique digital illustrations of four holiday icons: a prancing reindeer with antlers; an ornament tied with a bow and ready to hang; a tree topped with a star; and a stocking holding a teddy bear and a sprig of holly.

Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamps.


This new stamp celebrates the joyous Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. The stamp art’s colorful digital illustration shows the lighting of the nine-branched Hanukkah menorah on the last evening of the holiday.

All eight of the Hanukkah candles have been lit, and the child is reaching up to replace the shamash, the helper candle used to light the others in the menorah.

Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamp with original art by Jing Jing Tsong.


With this new stamp, the Postal Service continues its tradition of celebrating Kwanzaa. The annual Pan-African holiday, which takes place over seven days from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, brings family, community and culture together for many African Americans.

The stamp design features the face of a woman in profile with her eyes closed. Her contemplative demeanor signifies the ways in which observers of Kwanzaa reflect on the seven founding principles, the Nguzo Saba, and their role in everyday life. A kinara (candleholder) with the seven lit candles (mishumaa saba) sits in front of her.

Cool tones evoke a sense of inner peace, and vibrant design elements give the artwork a celebratory feel. Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamp with original artwork by Andrea Pippins.

 USPS is also announcing holiday favorites from years past that will continue to be available.

Those include:

Hanukkah (2018)
Hanukkah (2016)
Sparkling Holidays (2018)
Kwanzaa (2018)
“Madonna and Child” by Bachiacca (2018)
Florentine Madonna and Child (2016)
Christmas Carols (2017)
Holiday Wreaths (2019)
The Snowy Day (2017)
Diwali (2016)
Eid Greetings (2016)

Customers may purchase stamps and other philatelic products through The Postal Store, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), by mail through USA Philatelic, or at Post Office locations nationwide.

Source: stamps.org

Published in News

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Postal Service today announced the addition of the Innovation stamps to its 2020 stamp releases. Additional details, including the date these new Forever stamps will be available to purchase, will be announced soon. All images are preliminary and are subject to change prior to printing.

This release celebrates the American spirit of innovation with a pane of 20 stamps featuring five different designs, each representing an area in which U.S. scientists and engineers have made significant contributions: computing, biomedicine, genome sequencing, robotics and solar technology. Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamps, choosing a detail of an existing photograph for each.

Postal Products

Customers may purchase stamps and other philatelic products through The Postal Store at usps.com/shopstamps, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), by mail through USA Philatelic, or at Post Office locations nationwide. Forever stamps will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1‑ounce price. A variety of stamps and collectibles also are available at ebay.com/stamps.

Information on ordering first-day-of-issue postmarks and covers is at usps.com/shopstamps under “Collectors.”

Source: USPS announces new stamps celebrating innovation – Newsroom – About.usps.com

Published in News
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