Colorful Stamps Part of Postal Service's Classic Collection
WASHINGTON The cherubic Kewpie or "Br'er Rabbit" images that are instantly recognizable to most Americans are included in a pane of 20 U.S. commemorative postage stamps honoring this country's greatest illustrators.
On Feb. 1, 2001, the U.S. Postal Service will pay tribute to the unique and historic art form with the issuance of the American Illustrators stamp pane. The first day of issuance ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. at the Society of Illustrators, 128 East 63rd Street, New York City, in the main floor gallery. The first day of issuance ceremony will be part of the Society's Founders Day celebration, which will mark its 100th anniversary.
"The U.S. stamp program reflects the history and culture of America," said Terrence McCaffrey, Manager of Stamp Development, U.S. Postal Service. This stamp pane is a wonderful way to honor and recognize those illustrators whose talents and creativity have helped preserve our history with their representations of life in America. Each one of these stamps epitomizes the American way of life and our rich cultural heritage."
Joining McCaffrey will be Terrence Brown, Director of the Society of Illustrators, Al Lorenz, President of the Society of Illustrators, and Murray Tinkelman, Historian and Chairman of ISDP (Independent Study Degree Program) at Syracuse University.
The American Illustrators stamp pane will feature details of works by selected illustrators that were recommended by a panel of experts convened by the Society of Illustrators. The society will celebrate its centennial on Feb. 1, 2001.
The stamp designs are details of illustrations originally used for several purposes, including books, advertisements, magazine covers, murals, and posters. Honored on the stamp pane are Edwin Austin Abbey, Dean Cornwell, Harvey Dunn, Robert Fawcett, James Montgomery Flagg, Arthur Burdett Frost, John Held, Jr., Rockwell Kent, Joseph Christian Leyendecker, Neysa McMein, Rose O'Neill, Al Parker, Maxfield Parrish, Coles Phillips, Howard Pyle, Frederic Remington, Norman Rockwell, Jessie Willcox Smith, Jon Whitcomb, and Newell Convers Wyeth. Artwork by Franklin Booth appears on the selvage. All of the illustrators featured on the stamp pane are members of the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame. The American Illustrators stamp pane was designed by Carl Herrman of Carlsbad, Calif.
Two of the illustrators have been previously honored on U.S. postage stamps: Frederic Remington in 1940, 1961, and 1981; and Norman Rockwell in 1994, the same year a souvenir sheet featuring his Four Freedoms was issued. In addition, Norman Rockwell's artwork appeared on Boy Scouts of America (1960), City Mail Delivery (1963), Tom Sawyer (1972), and a stamp honoring the Peace Corps, which was issued as part of the 1960s Celebrate The Century pane in 1999.
Other previously issued stamps have featured artwork by the following illustrators: Al Parker illustrated a 1961 stamp honoring nursing. A detail of a poster by James Montgomery Flagg appeared on the U.S. Enters World War I stamp, issued as part of the 1910s Celebrate The Century pane. An illustration by John Held, Jr., was used for the Flappers Do The Charleston stamp on the 1920s Celebrate The Century pane. A detail of a poster by N.C. Wyeth appeared on the World War II stamp, issued as part of the 1940s Celebrate The Century pane. The Year 2000 stamp featured an illustration by J.C. Leyendecker that originally appeared on the cover of the January 2, 1937, issue of "The Saturday Evening Post."
The following selvage text appears on the back of the stamp pane:
"Advances in printing and publishing made possible by the Industrial Revolution ushered in a new era for American illustrators during the last quarter of the 19th century, allowing their work to be reproduced with increasing fidelity and attracting some of the country's finest talents to the field. Illustrations originally commissioned for books, magazines, and advertisements today serve as an invaluable artistic chronicle of American culture--from fashions and fads to pivotal moments in history. "The header artwork, by illustrator Franklin Booth (1874-1948), appeared on the editorial page of "The Ladies' Home Journal," February 1918. Maxfield Parrish illustration courtesy of The Maxfield Parrish Famliy Trust. Rockwell Kent illustration Plattsburgh State Art Museum, Rockwell Kent Gallery, Plattsburgh, NY. Norman Rockwell illustration 1929 The Curtis Publishing Company. John Held, Jr., illustration courtesy of Judy Held."
Text appearing on the back of the stamp pane identifies the illustration portrayed on each stamp and provides a short biographical sketch of each illustrator. This text is as follows:
Edwin Austin Abbey (1852-1911) began his career as a magazine illustrator and later achieved renown as a painter and muralist. A meticulous researcher, Abbey strived for detail and authenticity in his depictions of Shakespearean and other traditionally British subjects.
"Galahad's Departure", from "Harper's Monthly Magazine," September 1902; illustration for "The Quest of the Holy Grail", 1895-1902, mural for the Boston Public Library
Dean Cornwell (1892-1960) was a magazine illustrator whose dynamic paintings accompanied stories by Ernest Hemingway, Pearl S. Buck, and other prominent writers. He is also remembered for his murals, including an ambitious rendering of the history of California for the Los Angeles Public Library.
Cover illustration, "True" magazine, February 1953; Ohio River Museum, Marietta, Ohio
Harvey Dunn (1884-1952) was a student of Howard Pyle before becoming an art teacher himself. He created haunting images as a military artist during World War I, and later he recalled his youth in a powerful series of paintings about life on the Dakota prairie.
"Something for Supper," c.1940; Harvey Dunn Collection, South Dakota Art Museum, Brookings, South Dakota
Robert Fawcett (1903-1967) brought a superb sense of composition to his magazine and advertisement work; he was also the author of "On the Art of Drawing". Fawcett is best remembered for creating detailed illustrations to accompany a series of Sherlock Holmes stories in "Collier's" magazine.
Carrier Corporation refrigeration advertisement, 1949
Issued February 1, 2001,
New York, NY 10199
James Montgomery Flagg (1877-1960) was an outspoken celebrity known as much for his wit as for his drawings of glamorous women. He was his own model for a magazine cover of Uncle Sam proclaiming "I Want You," which became one of his many military recruitment posters.
"First in the Fight, Always Faithful," U.S. Marine Corps poster, c.1918; Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Arthur Burdett Frost (1851-1928), who specialized in humorous drawings, is best remembered for illustrating the Uncle Remus stories of Joel Chandler Harris. He was also a faithful chronicler of sports and rural life, especially golfing and hunting.
Br'er Rabbit watercolor, date unknown; Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts
John Held, Jr. (1889-1958) was a cartoonist who chronicled American culture and college life during the Jazz Age. He also wrote and illustrated several books, designed sets for plays, and served as artist-in-residence at Harvard University and the University of Georgia.
"The Girl He Left Behind", 1920s
Rockwell Kent (1882-1971) was a versatile wood engraver, lithographer, book illustrator, painter, and muralist. He designed a striking edition of Herman Melville's "Moby Dick," and wrote and illustrated accounts of his rugged travels in Alaska, Greenland, and South America.
from "Moby Dick," Random House, 1930
Joseph Christian Leyendecker (1874-1951) illustrated more than 300 covers for "The Saturday Evening Post" and was a role model for Norman Rockwell. Leyendecker also created the Arrow Collar Man, an advertising icon who won the hearts of countless young women.
Arrow Collars and Shirts advertisement, 1923
Neysa McMein (1888-1949) was a magazine and advertising illustrator, a portrait artist, and a member of the Algonquin Round Table. One of McMein's significant contributions to commercial art was her domestic design for the original Betty Crocker character.
cover illustration, "McCall's" magazine, June 1932
Rose O'Neill (1874-1944) was a self-trained artist who invented the cupid-like, whimsical Kewpies in 1909 while illustrating for magazines. The popular Kewpies also appeared in advertisements, and today Kewpie dolls are still prized collector's items. O'Neill was also a talented sculptor, novelist, and poet.
Kewpie with Kewpie Doodle Dog, date unknown
Al Parker (1906-1985) delighted the public with illustrations of mothers and daughters for the covers of women's magazines. Parker demonstrated a wide range of styles, constantly changing his own approach while setting fashion trends in the process.
from "How I Make a Picture," correspondence school lesson, Famous Artists Advanced Program, Institute of Commercial Art, Westport, Connecticut, 1949
Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966) used alternating layers of paint and varnish to create the shimmering fantasy lands in his popular illustrations for books, advertisements, magazines, and calendars. The color of his skies is still known as "Parrish blue." In 1925 an estimated one in four homes owned a Parrish print.
"Interlude (The Lute Players)," mural for the Eastman Theatre, Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York, 1922
Coles Phillips (1880-1927) consistently demonstrated his strong sense of design with his popular "fadeaway girl," who wore colors and patterns that blended into the background of each illustration. His depictions of stylish women graced numerous advertisements and magazine covers.
Luxite Hosiery advertisement, 1918
Howard Pyle (1853-1922) earned his reputation as the "father of American illustration" by training a generation of influential artists at his highly selective school. Often illustrating his own stories, Pyle inspired readers with vivid depictions of history and legend.
"An Attack on a Galleon," from the story "The Fate of a Treasure-Town" by Howard Pyle, "Harper's Monthly Magazine," December 1905; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware
Frederic Remington (1861-1909) romanticized the American cowboy even as he recorded the end of the Old West in paintings and magazine illustrations. He served as an artist and correspondent in Cuba during the Spanish-American War, and was also noted for his bronze sculptures.
"A Dash for the Timber," 1889; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) charmed the country for decades with his idealized depictions of American life in magazines, calendars, and advertisements. He painted more than 300 covers for "The Saturday Evening Post" and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977.
cover illustration, "The Saturday Evening Post," March 9, 1929
Jessie Willcox Smith (1863-1935) was a student of Howard Pyle who specialized in pictures of mothers and children for magazines. In addition to creating nearly 200 covers for "Good Housekeeping," she is also remembered for her enchanting illustrations in children's books such as Charles Kingsley's "The Water-Babies".
"The First Lesson," from "The Ladies' Home Journal," December 1904
Jon Whitcomb (1906-1988) was a prolific magazine illustrator known for his depictions of stylish and glamorous women. Whitcomb served as a Navy artist in the Pacific during World War II, and also created a dramatic series of advertisements anticipating the postwar homecomings of American soldiers.
"Back Home For Keeps," Oneida, Ltd., silverware advertisement, 1943
Newell Convers Wyeth (1882-1945) was a student of Howard Pyle before his prolific career as a book and magazine illustrator. Whether painting pirates, knights, or scenes from American history, Wyeth brought a strong sense of drama to his work, turning literary masterpieces into illustrated classics.
"Captain Bill Bones," 1911, from "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson; Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania