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Press

Exhibit Dates

October 20, 2017 — July 14, 2019 at  the National Postal Museum, Smithsonian Institution

Media Contact

Marty Emery
(202) 633-5518
emerym@si.edu

Press Releases

10/20/2017:
National Postal Museum Opens Art Exhibition Celebrating Beautiful Blooms on Stamps
Artwork from the Postmaster General’s Collection

10/4/2017:
National Postal Museum to Open Art Exhibition Celebrating Beautiful Blooms on Stamps Original Stamp
Artwork from the Postmaster General’s Collection

Downloadable High Resolution Images for Press Use

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"Beautiful Blooms: Flowering Plants on Stamps" gallery
Photo credit: Fotobriceno

 

"Beautiful Blooms: Flowering Plants on Stamps" gallery
Photo credit: Fotobriceno

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"Beautiful Blooms: Flowering Plants on Stamps" gallery
Photo credit: Fotobriceno

 

"Beautiful Blooms: Flowering Plants on Stamps" gallery
Photo credit: Fotobriceno

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"Beautiful Blooms: Flowering Plants on Stamps" gallery
Photo credit: Fotobriceno

 

"Beautiful Blooms: Flowering Plants on Stamps" gallery
Photo credit: Fotobriceno

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"Beautiful Blooms: Flowering Plants on Stamps" gallery
Photo credit: Fotobriceno

 

"Beautiful Blooms: Flowering Plants on Stamps" gallery
Photo credit: Fotobriceno

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"Beautiful Blooms: Flowering Plants on Stamps" gallery
Photo credit: Fotobriceno

 

"Beautiful Blooms: Flowering Plants on Stamps" gallery
Photo credit: Fotobriceno

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"Beautiful Blooms: Flowering Plants on Stamps" gallery
Photo credit: Fotobriceno

 

"Beautiful Blooms: Flowering Plants on Stamps" gallery
Photo credit: Fotobriceno

Pollination
 

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32c Giving and Sharing concept stamp art

Giving and Sharing concept stamp art
Illustrator: Mary GrandPré (concept); Robert Dinetz (final approved)

Concept art doesn’t always become the final stamp design. The development of the Giving and Sharing stamp, a commemorative stamp honoring philanthropy, attracted multiple artists who created many design concepts. The USPS ultimately decided to illustrate the giving and sharing relationship with a bee hovering near a double-blossomed flower to represent cross-pollination.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

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Pollination Issue original art

Purple Nightshade, Morrison’s Bumblebee approved stamp art
Illustrator: Steve Buchanan

The Purple Nightshade is a semi-evergreen perennial plant native to California but also found throughout most of North America. Its blue-purple flowers attract the Morrison’s Bumblebee, which uses its vibrating wings to loosen pollen from the plant.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

Beautification of America
 

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6c Beautification of America concept stamp art

Beautification of America concept stamp art
Illustrators: Robert Jones and Howard Milner

As a result of Lady Bird Johnson’s continued advocacy of the beautification and conservation campaign, the Johnson Administration (through the US Post Office Department) issued additional stamps supporting her efforts. Several artists were involved in the design of the 1969 stamp, and Lady Bird played a role in selecting the final design, emphasizing government and community beautification efforts.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

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6c Beautification of America concept stamp art

Beautification of America concept stamp art
Illustrators: Robert Jones and Howard Milner

This was one of the final concept images that focused on the Washington, DC Tidal Basin and its blooming cherry blossoms. After reviewing this image and others, the Johnson White House wanted to see a comprehensive design highlighting beautification efforts from the community to the national level.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

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5c Plant for a More Beautiful America approved stamp art

Plant for a More Beautiful America approved stamp art
Illustrator: Gyo Fujikawa

The 1966 Beautification of America stamp was issued to support public beautification projects advocated by Lady Bird Johnson. The stamp’s image shows Japanese cherry trees in full bloom around Washington, DC’s Tidal Basin with the Jefferson Memorial in the background. It was intended to “make a showcase of beauty on the Washington Mall” and encourage public interest in beautification and conservation projects.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

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6c Beautification of America approved stamp art

Beautification of America approved stamp art
Illustrator: Howard Milner

The approved art for the 1969 Beautification series was expanded to four stamps to market Lady Bird Johnson’s initiative to beautify public spaces at all governmental levels, from Federal to state and local. This stamp art conveys beautification of public spaces through flowering plants such as tulips, daffodils, and blooming trees.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

Botanical Congress
 

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6c Fourquieria splendens (Ocotillo) concept stamp art

Fourquieria splendens (Ocotillo) concept stamp art
Illustrator: Stanley Galli

The Ocotillo, a flowering plant indigenous to the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts of the Southwest, is depicted in an orange desert environment with a yellow sky and a flowering stem. The final approved version continued this coloration with a yellow sky but with a more detailed and colorful desert background.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

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6c Cypripedium reginae (Lady’s Slipper) and Franklinia alatamaha (Franklin Tree) concept stamp art

6c Cypripedium reginae (Lady’s Slipper) and Franklinia alatamaha (Franklin Tree) concept stamp art
Illustrator: Stanley Galli

Found in the Southeast, the Franklin tree produces a lovely white flower with a golden-yellow center, depicted here centered against a light green background. The Lady’s Slipper flower, a wildflower native to northern North America, is highlighted in the foreground with a green scene in the background. In the final approved art, both flowers are displayed prominently in the foreground while the background has been modified.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

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Botanical Congress concept stamp art

Botanical Congress concept stamp art
Illustrator: Stanley Galli

The four colorful images represent the first time flora from diverse national regions—the Southeast, Southwest, Northeast, and Northwest—were represented on US stamps. These images represent the variety of flora studied by the International Botanical Congress (IBC), and the botanical description is consistent with IBC standards. For example, the featured plants are identified by their respective Latin names.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

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6c Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas-fir) concept stamp art

Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas-fir) concept stamp art
Illustrator: Stanley Galli

This developmental art focuses on the pinecones and needles of the Douglas-fir, an evergreen conifer species native to western North America. Concepts included a vertical orientation with a white skyline, horizontal cones and needles, and a green skyline. The final design retained the green and used a vertical orientation for the needles and pinecone.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

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6c Botanical Congress concept stamp art

Botanical Congress concept stamp art
Illustrator: Stanley Galli

This composite art piece consisting of four large drawings was likely used by the USPS to discuss final aspects of the stamp design, such as placement of the lettering and positioning of the individual images in a four-stamp format.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

Birds in the Garden
 

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20c Michigan approved stamp art

Michigan approved stamp art
Illustrators: Arthur and Alan Singer

The Robin, one of the most common migratory birds in North America, was chosen as the Michigan state bird in 1931. The Robin is also the state bird of Connecticut and Wisconsin. The Robin prefers to eat earthworms and insects, such as termites and grubs, and is attracted to gardens with fruiting trees and plants, such as crabapples, bayberries, and cherries.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

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20c Alabama approved stamp art

Alabama approved stamp art
Illustrators: Arthur and Alan Singer

The Yellowhammer Woodpecker, also known as the Northern Flicker, was designated Alabama’s state bird in 1927. Alabama’s southern climate allows the Yellowhammer to maintain a year-round presence in Alabama gardens. Foraging primarily on the ground, the Yellowhammer eats spiders, mites, berries and seeds, including the large brown seeds produced by the flowering Camellia evergreen shrub.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

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20c New Hampshire approved stamp art

New Hampshire approved stamp art
Illustrators: Arthur and Alan Singer

The Purple Finch has been the state bird of New Hampshire since 1957. It shows its brightest colors during the summer season. The Purple Finch eats mainly seeds of coniferous trees, elms, tulip poplars, and maples. It also eats berries and fruit, including cherries and crabapples.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

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20c New Mexico approved stamp art

New Mexico approved stamp art
Illustrators: Arthur and Alan Singer

The Roadrunner, commonly called the Chaparral bird, was designated New Mexico’s state bird in 1950. One of nature’s speediest birds, the Roadrunner is named for its tendency to run rather than fly, though it will take flight to evade predators. Appearing in the gardens of the Southwest, Roadrunners eat dragonflies and yucca weevils.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

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20c Virginia approved stamp art

Virginia approved stamp art
Illustrators: Arthur and Alan Singer

The Cardinal, also known as the Northern Cardinal, has been the Virginia state bird since 1950 and is the official bird of six other states. The Cardinal eats insects and a variety of seeds, such as sunflower seeds, and berries produced by the flowers of the Dogwood tree during the spring.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

The Rose: Queen of Flowers
 

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25c Love concept stamp art

Love concept stamp art
Illustrators: Richard Sheaff

This concept art represents one of the first designs developed for the 1988 25-cent Love stamp, for which a large number of sketches were prepared. The artist based this design on a series of rose photographs.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

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25c Love concept stamp art

Love concept stamp art
Illustrators: Richard Sheaff

This concept art represents one of the last drawings prepared for the 25-cent Love stamp. The approved stamp design depicted a pink-colored rose against a leafy background. The actual production image was likely finalized with digital editing software.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

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25c Love concept stamp art

Love concept stamp art
Illustrators: Richard Sheaff

This bright red rose was one of many designs prepared for the 25-cent Love stamp. The concept artwork was not drawn to articulate a specific rose variety but instead was drawn to prominently display a recognizable rose image for the first time on a Love stamp.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

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29c–32c Rose approved stamp art

Rose approved stamp art
Illustrator: Gyo Fujikawa

By the early–mid 1990s, the USPS began to issue rose stamps more frequently and in various formats, such as the booklet, pane, and coil. This approved art represents Gyo Fujikawa’s third, fourth, and fifth rose stamps. As in the case of many approved postal art pieces, digital color adjustments were made to her final artwork.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

The Seasonal Garden
 

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29c Spring Garden Flowers approved stamp art

Spring Garden Flowers approved stamp art
Illustrator: Ned Seidler

The USPS initiated this seasonal issue with multicolored stamps representing the arrival of spring blooms. This group includes five colorful flowers, four of which—the hyacinth, daffodil, tulip, and iris—are grown from bulbs and another, the lilac, which is a shrub.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

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29c Summer Garden Flowers approved stamp art

Summer Garden Flowers approved stamp art
Illustrator: Ned Seidler

The summer blooming flowers design features favorites such as the lily, zinnia, gladiolus (which the USPS mistakenly labeled “gladiola”), marigold, and the rose. Two kinds of roses are shown. The one at the bottom is a yellow blossom, and the other, larger rose is called a Hybrid Tea Rose.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

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29c Fall Garden Flowers approved stamp art

Fall Garden Flowers approved stamp art
Illustrator: Ned Seidler

The selected fall blooms were the aster, chrysanthemum, dahlia, hydrangea, and the rudbeckia. Including hydrangea as a fall flowering plant illustrates the difficulty of seasonal categories, since this flower is sometimes regarded as a late spring or summer bloom. Unlike the other seasonal issues, here the artist allowed for space between the individual flowers.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

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29c Winter Garden Flowers approved stamp art

Winter Garden Flowers approved stamp art
Illustrator: Ned Seidler

This artwork represents the final issue for the Garden Flowers stamp series. The winter flowers—crocus, winter aconite, pansy, snowdrop, and anemone—are depicted close together, as though actually growing in a garden.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

Flowering Trees
 

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32c Southern Magnolia approved stamp art

Southern Magnolia approved stamp art
Illustrator: John Dawson

The Southern Magnolia is an evergreen tree that can reach 100 feet in height. Ordinary seedling trees may take 15 years to blossom and then bear flowers, which can grow up to twelve inches in diameter. The magnolia’s seeds hang from the cone by white silky threads.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

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32c Blue Paloverde approved stamp art

Blue Paloverde approved stamp art
Illustrator: John Dawson

This flowering tree, actually a legume, is found in the dry landscape and gardens of the American Southwest. Its small funnel-shaped flowers have five yellow petals, and its seeds are found in yellowish-brown pods. The fragrant flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies, and birds.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

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32c Yellow Poplar approved stamp art

Yellow Poplar approved stamp art
Illustrator: John Dawson

This flowering tree, commonly called the tulip tree, is native to North America and is found in the eastern half of the United States. The tree is used as a shade tree. In June and July, it bears large greenish-white flowers displaying an orange band near the base.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

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32c Prairie Crabapple approved stamp art

Prairie Crabapple approved stamp art
Illustrator: John Dawson

The Prairie Crabapple flower is the blossom from the Prairie Crabapple tree, an ornamental tree found throughout the Midwest. The bloom of the tree in a garden, after its deep pink buds open to white flowers, is spectacular. Blossom colors can range from a pearly white to a deep red.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection

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32c Southern Magnolia approved stamp art

Pacific Dogwood approved stamp art
Illustrator: John Dawson

Regarded as one of the most beautiful American flowering trees, the Dogwood produces multi-petaled flowers, each up to four inches across. Usually white, but sometimes pink or near-red, these flowers bloom in early spring. In autumn they turn flaming red, coinciding with the ripening of the small red berrylike fruits.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection