Supplemental Material

The Artworks: Substance and Style

Stylistically, U.S. postage stamps have become quite diverse in the last 50 years, primarily due to advances in printing technology. Stamp artists can now capture an ever-expanding array of subjects more dynamically, from history to fantasy, from social concerns to our favorite pastimes. Today, the look of stamps ranges from black-and-white scratchboard to full-color photography, from formal portraits to portraits with vignettes that provide context and mood. Circling the globe in editions of millions, stamp art has taken flight.

How an Idea Becomes a Stamp

The Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee {CSAC} meets several times a year to review the myriad suggestions received for stamp subjects. Some ideas come from Committee members themselves, and many others come from stamp collectors, postal officials, and the public at large. Once a subject has been approved, the Manager of Stamp Development assigns it to one of the six independent art directors who work with CSAC. The art director selects an artist whose style and technique will bring the subject to life. There is a real knack to capturing the essence of a subject at stamp size.

Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee


The Smithsonian National Postal Museum gratefully acknowledges the generosity of the United States Postal Service and the following individuals and corporations:

Guest Curator: Terrence W. McCaffrey, USPS
Exhibit & Web Design: Michael Osborne
Text & Research Assistance: PhotoAssist, Inc.
Writing & Editorial Direction: Alyson Kuhn
Fabrication & Installation: SurroundArt
Original Web Programming: Scott French

Trailblazers & Trendsetters from the collection of the United States Postal Service®

Reproducing Stamps and Artworks

U.S. postage stamp designs are copyrighted by the United States Postal Service. If you wish to reproduce stamp designs, you must contact the Postal Service or its licensing agency for information and permission.

Contact the program administrator at:

US Postal Service
475 L'Enfant Plaza Southwest
Washington, DC 20260-5012

Rights and Permissions Overview