USPS Unveils New Stamps for 2011
2010-12-30 · By Editor
From a former U.S. president to legends of Latin music to the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500-mile auto race to the garden of love, the 2011 commemorative stamp program has something for everyone.
The U.S. Postal Service today officially unveiled the images of its commemorative stamp program. Among this year’s honorees are former President Ronald Reagan, legendary author Mark Twain, award-winning actor and actress Gregory Peck and Helen Hayes, and Latin music giants Selena, Carlos Gardel, Carmen Miranda, Tito Puente and Celia Cruz.
In addition, former U.S. Congresswoman from Texas Barbara Jordan is the 2011 Black Heritage stamp honoree. Stamps will be issued to observe the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the 50th anniversary of America’s first manned spaceflight and a celebration of Disney Pixar movie characters: Lightning McQueen and Mater from Cars; Remy the rat and Linguini from Ratatouille; Buzz Lightyear and two of the green, three-eyed aliens from Toy Story; Carl Fredricksen and Dug from Up; and the robot WALL*E from Wall*E on Send a Hello stamps.
Forever Stamps in 2011
The Lunar New Year: Year of the Rabbit stamp, to be issued Jan. 22, will be a Forever Stamp for use in mailing a 1-ounce letter. Regardless of when the stamps are purchased or used in the new year, no matter how prices may change in the future, these stamps will always be equal to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.
Since the first Forever Stamp, featuring the Liberty Bell, was issued in April 2007, 28 billion Forever Stamps have been sold, resulting in $12.1 billion in total revenue. Now that the Postal Service offers coils, booklets and Holiday Forever Stamps, almost 85 percent of its stamp program is Forever.
Stamps may be purchased at local Post Offices, at The Postal Store website at www.usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-STAMP-24.
Lunar New Year Stamps
On Jan. 22, the U.S. Postal Service will issue the fourth of twelve stamps in its Celebrating Lunar New Year series, which began in 2008 with the Year of the Rat. The Year of the Rabbit begins on Feb. 3, 2011, and ends on Jan. 22, 2012.
Art director Ethel Kessler worked on the series with illustrator Kam Mak, an artist who grew up in New York City’s Chinatown and now lives in Brooklyn. The illustration was originally created using oil paints on panel.
Kessler’s design also incorporates elements from the previous series of Lunar New Year stamps, using Clarence Lee’s intricate paper-cut design of a rabbit and the Chinese character—drawn in grass-style calligraphy by Lau Bun—for “Rabbit.”
Stamp Celebrates Kansas Statehood
The 150th anniversary of Kansas statehood is commemorated with the issuance of this stamp. Kansas is believed to be named after the Kansas River, which bears the name of the Kansa, one of several Native American tribes in the region prior to European settlement. Kansas became the 34th state in the Union on Jan. 29, 1861.
This stamp, which will be issued Jan. 27, features artwork by renowned commercial and fine-art painter Dean Mitchell. Created specifically for the U.S. Postal Service, this stamp is a symbolic artistic snapshot of Kansas that encapsulates many of the state’s most prominent features: history, industry, agriculture, and pioneering ingenuity.
Ronald Reagan Stamp
The Postal Service recognizes the centennial of the birth of Ronald Reagan (1911-2004), America’s 40th President. The stamp issuance is one of a number of centennial events taking place across the nation in 2011 to commemorate Reagan’s life and legacy. The stamp goes on sale Feb. 10.
The stamp art, by Bart Forbes of Plano, TX, was created in oil wash on board. It is based on a photograph of Reagan taken in 1985, during his second term as President, at his beloved “Rancho del Cielo” (Ranch in the Sky), near Santa Barbara, CA.
USPS Jazz Appreciation Stamp
With this stamp, the U.S. Postal Service is proud to pay tribute to jazz, America’s musical gift to the world, and to the musicians who play it in studios, clubs, or concert halls, and on festival stages.
Art director Howard Paine designed the stamp to showcase the work of Paul Rogers, an artist living in Pasadena, CA. In creating the art for the stamp, originally using ink on paper and then finishing his work digitally, Rogers explored the way images could become a visual equivalent of jazz music. He was inspired by the cover art from vintage jazz record albums—work that captured the music’s improvisational quality while built on a clear understanding of its underlying structure.
Five legendary musicians and performers of the Latin sound whose contributions have had a lasting impact on American music —Selena, Carlos Gardel, Carmen Miranda, Tito Puente, and Celia Cruz – will be honored on stamps. Among the distinctive musical genres and styles represented are Tejano, tango, samba, Latin jazz, and salsa. The stamps go on sale in March.
For these stamps, artist Rafael Lopez, of San Diego, CA, painted semi-realistic portraits of each musical artist designed to evoke their personality, vitality, and even their sound. He used a warm palette of colors—from brilliant yellows, pinks, and lime green to rich shades of purple and blue—to suggest the flavor and energy these artists brought to their work. Each musician is depicted in mid-performance. One can almost hear Celia Cruz shout her trademark rallying cry ¡Azucar! (Sugar!) or sense Tito Puente’s rhythmic intensity as he performed one of his progressive arrangements on the timbales. Art director Ethel Kessler, of Bethesda, Maryland, says, “My goal was that when you see the stamp, you hear the music.”
Celebrate with Stamps in Neon
Good times call for good wishes, as the Postal Service gets in on the act with the Neon Celebrate! stamp to be issued in March. Bringing an extra wish for happiness to anyone celebrating a special time, this stamp features a brilliantly colored design crafted out of neon and glass that adds a spark to greeting cards, invitations, and gift-bearing envelopes and packages. No matter the occasion—birthday, anniversary, engagement, wedding, new job, retirement—this stamp will add another congratulatory wish to the good times being acknowledged.
Inspired by a visit to the Museum of Neon Art in Los Angeles, Art Director Phil Jordan began to think about the possibility of using neon to depict a stamp subject. He decided that a “Neon Celebrate!” stamp, with its imagery of vivid colors, fit the bill. “Most neon is huge and stamps are so small,” said Jordan. “The mechanics would be a monumental challenge. Not everyone thought we could pull it off.”
Actress Helen Hayes Stamp
Actress Helen Hayes, who justly deserved the title “First Lady of the American Theater” for her radiant presence on Broadway for much of the twentieth century will be honored on a stamp in April. She also gave memorable and award-winning performances on radio, film, and television.
The stamp features original art by Drew Struzan, whose movie posters for the Indiana Jones and Star Wars series have been seen by millions. Struzan based his design for the stamp on a photograph taken of Hayes circa 1958.
U.S. Civil War Stamps
The Postal Service begins a series with these stamps commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, joining others across the country in paying tribute to the American experience during the tumultuous years from 1861 to 1865. The stamps will go on sale April 12. A souvenir sheet of two stamps will be issued each year through 2015. For 2011, one stamp depicts the beginning of the war in April 1861 at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, while the other depicts the first major battle of the war three months later at Bull Run, near Manassas, Virginia.
Art Director Phil Jordan of Falls Church, VA, created the stamps using images of Civil War battles. The Fort Sumter stamp is a reproduction of a Currier & Ives lithograph, circa 1861, titled “Bombardment of Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor.” The Bull Run stamp is a reproduction of a 1964 painting by Sidney E. King titled “The Capture of Rickett’s Battery.” The painting depicts fierce fighting on Henry Hill over an important Union battery during the Battle of First Bull Run.
Gregory Peck Stars in 17th Hollywood Series Stamp
With the 17th stamp in the Legends of Hollywood series, the Postal Service honors Gregory Peck on April 29. One of America’s most respected actors, Peck appeared in more than 60 films during a remarkable career that stretched from the Golden Age of Hollywood to the emergence of independent filmmaking. His intelligence, natural elegance, and searing integrity impressed critics from the start and endeared him to generations of moviegoers.
The stamp portrait is a still photograph from the film, which tells the story of Atticus’s defense of a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman. Peck’s performance earned him an Oscar, and the character was named the greatest hero in motion picture history by the American Film Institute. The selvage image shows Peck with his Academy Award.
New Purple Heart Stamps Coming in May
In 2011, the Postal Service honors the sacrifices of the men and women who serve in the U.S. military with the issuance of the Purple Heart with Ribbon stamp. The stamp goes on sale May 2. The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to members of the U.S. military who have been wounded or killed in action. According to the Military Order of the Purple Heart, an organization for combat-wounded veterans, the medal is “the oldest military decoration in the world in present use and the first award made available to a common soldier.”
In 2003, the Postal Service issued its first Purple Heart stamp featuring a photograph of a Purple Heart awarded to Lt. Colonel James Loftus Fowler (USMC) in 1968. This Purple Heart stamp features a photograph taken by Ira Wexler of Braddock Heights, MD, of the Purple Heart medal awarded during World War II to 1st Lieutenant Arthur J. Rubin (1917-1978).
USPS Stamps Salute Space With Mercury Messenger
The 50th anniversary of America’s first manned spaceflight is being commemorated with the issuance of two stamps. The stamps go on sale May 4. One stamp salutes the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Project Mercury, America’s first manned spaceflight program. The other stamp draws attention to NASA’s unmanned MESSENGER mission, a scientific investigation of the planet Mercury. On March 18, 2011, MESSENGER will become the first spacecraft to enter into orbit around Mercury.
Giancola based the stamp designs on NASA photographs and images. The Project Mercury stamp depicts Shepard, the Mercury capsule Freedom 7, and the Redstone launching rocket. The MESSENGER Mission stamp depicts the MESSENGER spacecraft in orbit around the planet Mercury.
Garden of Love Stamps
The Garden of Love — ten different First-Class stamps depicting a colorful mosaic of flora and fauna in a garden setting — will be issued May 19. These stamps are a continuation of the Love series, begun in 1973, and are intended for use on Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day cards, as well as on other occasions when love and affection are expressed.
Award-winning illustrator José Ortega of New York City and Toronto depicts an abstract garden of bright flowers, a butterfly, a strawberry, and doves, interlaced with vines that run from one stamp to another. Each prominent element of the design is in the shape of a heart. The deep blue background is reminiscent of a brilliant summer sky. The word “Love” sits atop each stamp.
Indianapolis 500 Centennial Stamps
The centennial of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, the automobile race held since 1911 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, IN, is being commemorated on a stamp in May. Since the first race in 1911, the Indy 500 has become an American tradition and is billed as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
Featuring stylized artwork by John Mattos, this stamp depicts Ray Harroun driving #32, the Marmon “Wasp,” the customized yellow-and-black car in which Harroun won the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911. Text along the bottom of the stamp reads “Indianapolis 500.” Small type along the bottom of the stamp opposite the year 2011 reads “100 YEARS OF RACING.”
12 Stamps Showcase Pioneers of American Industrial Design
The Pioneers of American Industrial Design stamp pane honors 12 of the nation’s most important and influential industrial designers. Encompassing everything from furniture and electric kitchen appliances to corporate office buildings and passenger trains, the work of these designers helped shape the look of everyday life in the 20th century. The stamps go on sale in July.
Art director Derry Noyes selected objects designed by 12 of the nation’s most important and influential industrial designers to feature on this colorful pane of self-adhesive stamps. Each stamp includes the designer’s name, the type of object, and the year or years when the object was created.
U.S. Stamps, American Scientists
The third American Scientists stamp issuance honors chemist Melvin Calvin, botanist Asa Gray, physicist Maria Goeppert Mayer, and biochemist Severo Ochoa. The stamps go on sale June 16.
For each stamp in this block of four, art director Ethel Kessler collaborated with Greg Berger of Bethesda, MD, to create a collage featuring a photograph and signature of the scientist, along with items such as equations and diagrams that are associated with the scientist’s research.
Send Mail with Mark Twain
With the 27th stamp in the Literary Arts series, the Postal Service honors Mark Twain, author of beloved works such as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, widely considered one of the greatest novels in American literature. The stamp goes on sale in June.
Art director and designer Phil Jordan used work by stamp artist Gregory Manchess, who based his portrait of Twain, in oil paints on a board, on a photograph taken around 1907 by Underwood & Underwood of New York, now in the collection of the Library of Congress. The stamp background evokes several of Twain’s works set along the Mississippi River of his youth.
Stamps Commemorate Owney the Postal Dog
With this stamp, the Postal Service commemorates Owney, the canine mascot of the Railway Mail Service. The stamp goes on sale July 27. Beloved of clerks on mail-sorting trains at the end of the nineteenth century, Owney was hailed as a symbol of good luck. Today he is an icon of American postal lore whose story highlights the historical importance of the Railway Mail Service.
The stamp art features a new illustration of Owney by artist Bill Bond of Arlington, VA. The illustration depicts Owney in profile, facing left, with many of his famous tags and medals gleaming in the background.
U.S. Merchant Marine Stamps
Since the founding of the republic, the United States has looked to the commercial maritime industry for much of its growth and security. This stamp issuance pays tribute to the U.S. Merchant Marine, the modern name for the maritime fleet that has played this vital role. The four-stamp design on this pane features types of vessels that have formed an important part of this history: clipper ships, auxiliary steamships, Liberty ships, and container ships. The stamps go on sale in July.
Illustrator Dennis Lyall of Norwalk, CT, created the stamps under the art direction of Phil Jordan of Falls Church, VA.
American Treasures Stamps Series: Edward Hopper
A sunlit painting by Edward Hopper is the tenth entry in the American Treasures stamp series. The Long Leg, painted in oil on canvas around 1930, depicts a boat sailing against the wind near Provincetown, MA. The stamp goes on sale in August.
Art director Derry Noyes chose a sunlit painting by Edward Hopper for this tenth entry in the American Treasures series. The Long Leg is in the collection of the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, in San Marino, California. The American Treasures series was inaugurated in 2001. It is intended to showcase beautiful works of American fine art and crafts.
Flags of Our Nation: Set of 5 Stamps
The Postal Service continues its Flags of Our Nation series with ten more stamp designs that feature the flags of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the states of Ohio through Tennessee. The stamps go on sale Aug. 11.
Artist Tom Engeman, a resident of Bethany Beach, Del., created the highly detailed flag portraits and snap show views on the stamps. Over the years, the artist’s colorful and imaginative designs have appeared on many Postal Service products, including the National World War II Memorial stamp (2004) and the nation’s first Forever Stamp (2007).
Send a Hello with Stamps
Since 1986, Pixar films have stretched the boundaries of our imagination with stories about unlikely heroes who explore the bonds of friendship and family. Now some of those heroes are the subjects of colorful new Send a Hello stamps that encourage people to connect with loved ones through the mail. The Send a Hello stamps, which go on sale Aug. 19, are a natural outgrowth of the Art of Disney stamp series issued between 2004 and 2008.
This pane of 20 stamps includes five different designs featuring Pixar characters: Lightning McQueen and Mater from Cars (2006); Remy the rat and Linguini from Ratatouille (2007); Buzz Lightyear and two of the green, three-eyed aliens from Toy Story (1995); Carl Fredricksen and Dug from Up (2009); and the robot WALL*E from WALL*E (2008).
Roses Are Next in the USPS Wedding Stamp Series
In 2011, the U.S. Postal Service will issue the Wedding Roses stamp as part of its Weddings series. The stamp is meant for use on the RSVP envelope often enclosed with a wedding invitation and on announcements, thank-you notes, and other correspondence. The stamp goes on sale in August.
The Wedding Roses stamp features a photograph taken by Renée Comet of Washington, D.C. The photograph shows two white roses gently resting atop a piece of wedding correspondence. A white ribbon is visible in the background.
U.S. Black Heritage Stamps Continue with Barbara Jordan
With the 34th stamp in the Black Heritage series, the Postal Service honors Barbara Jordan, one of the most respected and influential American politicians of the 20th century. The stamp goes on sale in September.
The portrait featured on the stamp is an oil painting by award-winning artist Albert Slark of Ajax, Ontario, Canada. Slark based his portrait on an undated black-and-white photograph of Jordan.
Art Stamps Display Collages of Romare Bearden
With this stamp sheet, the Postal Service honors Romare Bearden, one of the 20th century’s most distinguished American artists. The stamps go on sale in September. Bearden is celebrated for his groundbreaking approach to collage along with his work in watercolors, oils, and other media. His art has been praised for depicting African-American experience in its full dimensionality and is in the permanent collections of major museums across the nation.
Art director Derry Noyes chose a different work by Bearden for each of four stamp designs.
Merry Stamps with Holiday Baubles
The Postal Service’s cheery Holiday stamps for 2011 feature four colorful ornaments sure to add to the joys of the season. These festive baubles may also inspire fond memories of beloved ornaments from childhood—objects that still have the power to enchant us today. The stamps go on sale Oct. 13.
The U.S. Postal Service’s cheery Holiday stamps for 2011 feature four colorful ornaments sure to add to the joys of the season. Linda Fountain, an illustrator located in Hilton Head Island, SC, created the ornaments shown in the stamp art. Drawing on styles popular during the 1950s, she first sketched the ornaments then rendered them using them cut paper. These renderings were scanned and turned into digital files.