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USPS offering new miniature works of art in 2016

The U.S. Postal Service’s lineup of 2016 stamp issues are truly miniature works of art, and will have collectors adding a visit to the post office to their to-do list.

WASHINGTON — The Postal Service is providing a preview of its 2016 stamp program that is sure to attract the interest of fans of Sarah Vaughan, Star Trek, NASA’s New Horizons mission, trucks, Shirley Temple, flowers, soda fountain fans and the holidays — just to name a few.

“Our stamps articulate the American experience through miniature works of art,” said Acting Stamp

Botanical stamps

The Botanical Art issue, which comprises 10 different floral designs, each a detail of illustrations that appeared in an American nursery catalog between 1891 and 1912. (All images courtesy U.S.P.S.)

Services Director Mary-Anne Penner. “Our diverse stamp topics for 2016 are sure to appeal to everyone, and with the New Year just around the corner, now is a perfect time to get started in stamp collecting. It’s an educational hobby the entire family can enjoy.”

The Postal Service is also previewing a number of new holiday stamps. A new holiday contemporary stamp is in development and will be previewed at a later date. Unless noted, the date of issuance and the stamp dedication ceremony locations will be announced at a later date.

Among the new issues is a Quilled Paper Heart stamp, which features an elegant heart created using the ancient art of quilling. Quilling involves rolling and shaping narrow strips of paper, laying them on their edges, and gluing them in place to form intricate designs. The heart shape in the center of the stamp art is made from paper strips of many colors and is surrounded by white paper swirls on a white background.

The Botanical Art issue continues the Postal Service tradition of beautiful floral-themed stamps. The stamp art features 10 different floral designs, each a detail of an illustration that appeared in an American nursery catalog between 1891 and 1912. The design details are courtesy of The New York Botanical Garden; the catalogs are part of the NYBG’s Nursery and Seed Catalog Collection, one of the largest and most important collections in the U.S.

Preacher, activist and civic leader Richard Allen (1760-1831) was an inspiring figure whose life and work resonate profoundly in American history. This stamp coincides with the 200th anniversary of Allen’s founding of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, one of the most important institutions in African-American life, as well as his election as its first bishop.

The stamp art is a portrait of Allen, a detail from an 1876 print titled “Bishops of the A.M.E. Church.” Featuring Allen in the center surrounded by 10 other bishops and six historical vignettes, the print is from the collection of the Library Company of Philadelphia.

The Lunar New Year: Year of the Monkey issue commemorates the Year of the Monkey. The stamp

Shirley Temple stamps

Shirley Temple in the Legends of Hollywood series.

art features two bright reddish-orange peonies against a purple background. Peonies symbolize wealth and honor in Chinese culture and often decorate the sides of the traditional drums played during the holiday festivities.

The stamp design incorporates two elements from the previous series of Lunar New Year stamps: the intricate cut-paper design of a monkey and the Chinese character for “monkey,” drawn in grass-style calligraphy.
Kam Mak of Brooklyn, N.Y., was the stamp artist. The artist of the paper-cut design was Clarence Lee. Lau Bun was the calligrapher and Ethel Kessler was the art director. The First-Day-of-Issue ceremony took place Feb. 5 in Queens, N.Y., at the St. John’s University Queens Campus – D’Angelo Center.

Another of the new stamps pays tribute to Sarah Vaughan, one of America’s greatest singers, successful in both jazz and pop, with a talent for improvisation and skillful phrasing and a voice that ranged over several octaves.

The stamp art is an oil painting of Vaughan in performance, based on a 1955 photograph by Hugh Bell. A few lines of selvage text explain her importance as a Music Icon. The cover side of the pane features a larger version of the stamp art, a list of some of Vaughan’s popular songs and the Music Icons logo. Bart Forbes was the artist and Ethel Kessler was the art director. The 11 a.m. First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony will take place March 29 in Newark, New Jersey, at the Sarah Vaughan Concert Hall.

Shirley Temple becomes the 20th inductee into the Postal Service’s Legends of Hollywood series. As a child ,she was the most honored film star in the world. As an adult, Shirley Temple Black had a distinguished career in diplomacy, serving as delegate to the United Nations, U.S. Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia and U.S. Chief of Protocol. She received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1998 and a lifetime achievement award from the Screen Actors Guild in 2006.

The stamp art for this Forever stamp features a painting by Tim O’Brien based on a 1935 still image from Curly Top, one of her iconic film rolls. The selvage, or area outside of the stamps, features a publicity photo from the 1933 short film “Managed Money.” Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, Maryland, was the art director for the stamp.

Quilt stamps

Presorted First-Class Star Quilts stamps are available in coils of 3,000 and 10,000

To celebrate America’s love for pets, the Postal Service is issuing a booklet of 20 Forever stamps featuring photographs of pets. Each photograph represents an animal from one of these groups: puppies, betta fish, iguanas, hamsters, goldfish, parrots, guinea pigs, tortoises, rabbits, kittens, corn snakes, mice, hermit crabs, chinchillas, gerbils, dogs, parakeets, horses, cats and geckos. The photographs were taken by Eric Isselée and Derry Noyes was the art director.

The new Indiana Statehood stamp celebrates the 200th anniversary of Indiana’s statehood. Known as the Hoosier State, Indiana became the 19th state of the Union on Dec. 11, 1816. Indiana has often been considered the heartland of America. Its fertile soil has long made it ideal for crops like corn, which remains a staple of Indiana’s agricultural economy. The state is also known for the Indianapolis 500 and its devotion to the game of basketball.

The stamp features a contemplative photograph of the expansive cornfields near Milford, Indiana, at sunset. The photographer, Michael Matti, grew up in Milford. Derry Noyes was the art director.
The Repeal of the Stamp Act, 1766, issue commemorates the 250th anniversary of the repeal of the Stamp Act — British legislation that galvanized and united the American colonies and set them on a path toward revolution. The act required payment of a tax on a wide array of paper materials, such as newspapers, pamphlets, legal documents, licenses, mortgages, contracts and bills of sale. A stamp would be embossed on these papers to indicate payment.

The stamp art depicts a crowd gathered around a “liberty tree” to celebrate the repeal of the Stamp Act. The selvage area displays a proof print of a one-penny revenue stamp and includes a famous slogan from the era: “Taxation without representation is tyranny.” Verso text appears on the back of the pane. Greg Harlin of Annapolis, Maryland, was the artist who worked under the direction of Antonio Alcalá. The stamp will be dedicated between May 28 and June 4 at the World Stamp Show – NYC 2016 at the Jacob Javits Center.

Within the Views of Our Planets pane of 16 Forever stamps, the Postal Service showcases some of the more visually compelling full-disk images of the planets. Eight new colorful Forever stamps, each shown twice, feature Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Some show the planets’ “true color” — what might be seen if traveling through space. Others use colors to represent and visualize certain features of a planet based in imaging data. Still others use the near-infrared spectrum to show things that cannot be seen by the human eye, invisible light.

The verso text, or text on the back of the stamp pane, explains what these images reveal and

full moon stamps

Global Forever stamps of the full moon as it rises.

identifies the spacecrafts and powerful telescopes that helped obtain them. Antonio Alcalá of Alexandria, Va., was the art director and designer of the stamps. The stamps will be dedicated between May 28 and June 4 at the World Stamp Show – NYC 2016 at the Jacob Javits Center.

In 2006, NASA placed a 29-cent 1991 Pluto: Not Yet Explored stamp in the New Horizons spacecraft. In 2015, the spacecraft carried the stamp on its history-making mission to Pluto and beyond.

“The New Horizons project is proud to have such an important honor from the U.S. Postal Service,” said Alan Stern, New Horizons lead scientist from the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo. “Since the early 1990s the old, ‘Pluto Not Yet Explored’ stamp served as a rallying cry for many who wanted to mount this historic mission of space exploration. Now that NASA’s New Horizons has accomplished that goal, it’s a wonderful feeling to see these new stamps join others commemorating first explorations of the planets.”

The souvenir sheet of four stamps contains two new stamps: Pluto—Explored! – appearing twice. The first stamp shows an artists’ rendering of the New Horizons spacecraft and the second shows the spacecraft’s image of Pluto taken near its closest approach.

The view — which is color enhanced to highlight surface texture and composition — is a composite of four images from New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), combined with color data from the imaging instrument Ralph that clearly reveals the now-famous heart-shaped feature. Antonio Alcalá was the art director. The stamps will be dedicated between May 28 and June 4 at the World Stamp Show – NYC 2016 at the Jacob Javits Center.

The World Stamp Show-NY 2016 souvenir sheet commemorates the decennial World Stamp Show that will be held from May 28 to June 4, 2016, at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. The sheets feature intaglio printed stamps in two color configurations and will be sold only as a set.

Star Trek stamps

Star Trek Forever stamps mark the show’s 50th anniversary.

The design is based on two stamps issued in 2015 to announce the show inviting stamp collectors to attend. Michael Dyer and Antonio Alcalá designed the sheet. Alcalá was the art director. The stamps will be dedicated between May 28 and June 4.

Beloved and charismatic California educator Jaime Escalante used unconventional methods to inspire his inner-city students not only to learn calculus but also to pass Advanced Placement tests in the subject. With his colleagues at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles, he proved that students judged to be “unteachable” could master even the most difficult subject.

The stamp art features Escalante in a digital illustration that resembles an oil painting. The illustration is based on a 2005 photograph taken by Jaime W. Escalante, in a classroom where his father formerly taught.

The Soda Fountain Favorites booklet of 20 stamps features five different illustrations: a double-spoon ice cream cone, an egg crème, a banana split, a root beer float and a hot fudge sundae. The geometric silver-toned patterns in the selvage and on the booklet evoke a classic chrome-accented soda fountain. Illustrator Nancy Stahl of New York City worked under the art direction of Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, Maryland, to create the stamps.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the television premiere, the new Star Trek Forever stamps showcase four digital illustrations inspired by classic elements of the television program:
• Starship Enterprise inside the outline of a Starfleet insignia against a gold background
• Silhouette of a crewman in a transporter against a red background
• Silhouette of the Enterprise from above against a green background
• Enterprise inside the outline of the Vulcan salute (Spock’s iconic hand gesture) against a blue background.

The words “SPACE… THE FINAL FRONTIER,” from Captain Kirk’s famous voice-over appears beneath the stamps against a background of stars. The stamps were designed by Heads of State under the art direction of Antonio Alcalá.

Pickup Trucks celebrates the rugged and reliable work vehicles that Americans have driven for nearly a century, each of these four new Forever stamps features on of the following iconic models:

• The strong, sturdy, 1938 International Harvester D-2 had a distinct barrel-shaped grille and its

Pickup trucks stamps

Pickup Trucks Forever stamps.

elegant styling mirrored the look of luxury automobiles of the era.
• A 1953 Chevrolet featuring large windshields for excellent visability, a distinctive curvy grille that bulged in the middle and a six-cylinder engine.
• The 1948 Ford F-1 model with features like the roomy “Million Dollar Cab,” a sharp horizontal five-bar grille and a six-cylinder engine.
• A 1965 Ford F-100 sporting a new grille with 18 small rectangular openings, and something Ford dubbed “Twin-I-Beam” independent front suspension.
Illustrator Chris Lyons created the artwork under the direction of Antonio Alcalá.

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

Additional 2016 USPS Postage Stamp Issues
Jack-O’-Lanterns, featuring photographs of four different jack-o’-lanterns, designed and carved by Paul Montanari, photographed by Sally Anderson-Bruce, under the art direction of Derry Noyes
Nativity, illustrated by Nancy Stahl under the direction of Greg Breeding
Florentine Madonna and Child, Christmas Forever Stamp, detail of 15th century Madonna and Child painting in the National Gallery of Art, art direction by William Gicker
2016 Hanukkah, illustrated by William Low under the art direction of Ethel Kessler
2016 Kwanzaa, illustrated by Synthia Saint James, who created the first Kwanzaa stamp in 1996, under the art Jack-O-Lantern stamps: photographs of four different jack-o’-lanterns. direction of Greg Breeding
Eid Greetings (Islamic festivals), calligraphy by Mohamed Zakaria under art direction of Ethel Kessler
U.S. Flag Forever Stamp, designed by Greg Breeding under art direction of Terrance McCaffrey
Apples, 1 cent, illustrated by John Burgoyne
Grapes, 5 cents, illustrated by John Burgoyne
La Cueva del Indio (Puerto Rico: Cave of the Indian), Priority Mail, Illustrated by Dan Cosgrove under the direction of Greg Breeding

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