Normally, I’m not a fan of muted colors or browns or grays so it took me some time to warm up to the latest edition of American Treasures series USPS stamps, Hudson River School. But our postal customers enjoy seeing the latest stamps and agonizing over which stamp art will work best on their communications.
As I pored over the Hudson River School stamps, I noticed that one was a distant view of Niagara Falls, a favorite place of mine near my hometown and a second was a painting of the Grand Canyon, near to my current residence and business location. I was sold at that moment and then the yellows, blues and reds in the paintings became more apparent to me.
As it turns out, my customers are fond of these stamps and we’ve had to re-order more! Moral of the story, beauty and meaning are in the eye of the beholder, provided they take a moment to consider the art presented to them. Enjoy.
Here is the official USPS.com description of the Hudson River School Stamps:
“During the 19th century, the artists of a young America searched for a new way of viewing the world and found it in the very landscapes around them. Inspired by the stunning natural beauty of New York state, the loose-knit Hudson River School of painters flourished from the mid-1830s to the mid-1870s and gave America its first major school of art.
This 12th issuance in the American Treasures series features details of paintings by four renowned Hudson River School artists. The paintings on these stamps are: Distant View of Niagara Falls (1830) by Thomas Cole, from the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago; Summer Afternoon (1865) by Asher B. Durand, from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Sunset (1856) by Frederic Edwin Church, from the collection of the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute; and Grand Canyon (1912) by Thomas Moran, from the collection of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Derry Noyes was the art director and designer for the Hudson River School stamps, which are being issued as Forever® stamps. These Forever® stamps will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce rate.
*Church, Frederic Edwin (1826-1900). Sunset,1856. Oil on canvas. Original 1870s-styleframe. 37 3/4 x 49 3/4 in.(framed). Proctor Collection, PC.21, Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Utica, NY, U.S.A. Photo Credit: Munson-Williams- Proctor Arts Institute / Art Resource, NY
*Thomas Cole, American, 1801-1848, Distant View of Niagara Falls, 1830, Oil on panel, 47.9 x 60.6 cm (18 7/8 x 23 7/8 in.), Friends of American Art Collection, 1946.396, The Art Institute of Chicago. Photography © The Art Institute of Chicago. http://www.artic.edu/aic
*Durand, Asher Brown (1796-1886). Summer Afternoon, 1865, Oil on canvas, 22 1/2 x 35 in. (57.2 x 88.9 cm). Bequest of Maria DeWitt Jesup, from the collection of her husband, Morris K. Jesup, 1914 (15.30.60), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, U.S.A. Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY.”