Over the years, the U.S. Postal Service has become a champion of the arts through stamps that highlight both iconic and overlooked figures who’ve left an indelible mark on culture. Past stamps include Marvin Gaye and Ellsworth Kelly, Seasame Street and Chien-Shiung Wu, to the latest which celebrates American sculptor, Edmonia Lewis.
Born of Haitian and Ojibwe descent, Lewis is accredited by some historians as the first Black American sculptor. A master at carving marble, her sculptures referenced her mixed heritage, along with an extensive study of mythological and biblical motifs — a background she learned on her travels across European cities, such as Rome.
The stamp is a portrait of Lewis made by Augustus Marshall sometime between 1864 and 1871. In a statement on the release, USPS said: “As the public continues to discover the beautiful subtleties of Lewis’s work, scholars will further interpret her role in American art and the ways she explored, affirmed or de-emphasized her complex cultural identity to meet or expand the artistic expectations of her day.” You can preorder a sheet of 20 for $11.60 USD online or at the nearest USPS location.
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