Duck Stamp Featuring James Hautman’s Painting of Canada Geese Issued June 23

The 84th annual 2017–18 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, known popularly as the Duck Stamp, was issued nationwide June 23 and formally celebrated at a first-day-of-sale ceremony at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The $25 stamp features three Canada geese in flight above an autumnal wetland. The original artwork for the stamp was created by James Hautman, of Chaska, Minnesota in an annual open artwork contest. Hautman has won the contest five times. In 1989, James was the youngest artist to win the contest at age 25. His subsequent wins were in 1994, 1998, and 2010.

The stamp — which has both self-stick and moisture-activated versions — is a mandatory license stamp for waterfowl hunters, but also serves as a fundraiser for wildlife habitat conservation.

Last fall, a panel of five judges chose Hautman’s art from among 152 entries. His fifth win puts him in elite company as only two other artists — one of them his brother, Joseph — have won five first-place awards.

The 2017–2018 Junior Duck Stamp, which also went on sale June 23, features a pair of trumpeter swans painted by Isaac Schreiber, 12, of Duffield, Virginia. Judges selected his entry as the winner during the Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest in April from among the best-of-show winners from all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

Since 1934, sales of the Duck Stamp have raised more than $950 million to conserve nearly 6 million acres of wetlands habitat, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which administers the stamp. The service states that 98 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the stamp are spent on habitat conservation.

 

The contest to select the 2018-2019 stamp will be held September 15 and 16 at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

The new Duck Stamps are available for purchase online from the U.S. Postal Service, at many sporting goods and retail stores, some post offices, and at national wildlife refuges.

2017 Luff Awards to Gregory, Kane, and Saadi

This year’s prestigious American Philatelic Society Luff Award recipients are Fred F. Gregory, Alan Kane, and Wade Saadi. The awards will be formally presented at StampShow, August 3 to 6 in Richmond, Virginia, and are given for meritorious contributions by living philatelists.

The awards are named for John N. Luff, who was president of the APS from 1907 to 1909. Here is a look at this year’s honorees:

Fred F. Gregory, of Palos Verdes Estates, California, is the 2017 recipient of the Luff Award for Distinguished Philatelic Research.

A stamp collector from boyhood, Gregory, is a member of the governing boards of several philatelic organizations, and has focused his philatelic interest on the stamps and postal history of 19th-century Hawaii for the past 40 years.

Mentored by Hawaii collectors Thurston Twigg-Smith, Wallace Beardsley, Ed Burns, and others from the prior generation, Gregory became a recognized expert in Hawaiian philately. In the late 1990s, he created the website, Post Office in Paradise, Mail & Postage Stamps of Nineteenth Century Hawaii (hawaiianstamps.com). He has authored numerous articles on Hawaiian stamps and postal history. He authored Hawaii Foreign Mail to 1870, an award-winning three-volume set edited by Robert Odenweller and published by the Philatelic Foundation in 2012. The set earned numerous awards at the national and international level, including the Grand Award and Gold Medal for Literature at StampShow 2012; the 2012–13 Ashbrook Cup, awarded by the United States Philatelic Classics Society, and a large gold medal at World Stamp Expo 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.

His articles include “2c Ship Fee on Mail from Hawaii via San Francisco, 1849–1855,” which appeared in the June 2008 edition of Western Express; and “A New Oldest Letter from Hawaii,” which appeared in June 2016 in the same publication.

Gregory was born and raised in California. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and his juris doctor degree from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall. Afterward, with the exception of three years active duty as a legal officer in the United States Coast Guard, he practiced law with the Los Angeles-based law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher from 1965 until his retirement from the partnership at the end of 2003. He specialized in the area of business litigation. He and his wife, Carol, were married in 1967 and raised a daughter and three sons.

Allen R. Kane, of Rockville, Maryland, is the recipient of the Luff Award for Exceptional Contributions to Philately.

Kane became director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum on February 19, 2002. The museum is housed in the former City Post Office Building, 2 Massachusetts Ave. N.E., near Union Station on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The 70,000-square-foot museum offers exhibitions, educational programs and a research center. Its extensive collection includes almost 6 million items, ranging from stamps to mail planes. The National Postal Museum, through its collection and library, is dedicated to the preservation, study and presentation of postal history and philately.

Since becoming director his many accomplishments include fundraising for galleries and exhibits, including raising $18 million for the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery, which opened in September 2013; obtaining a long-term grant from the United States Postal Service to fund museum operations; managing three museum councils staffed with philatelic, industry and museum leaders; managing a museum staff of more than 35 plus numerous volunteers and docents; developing excellent communication with the APS, its societies and affiliated organizations, including the Royal Philatelic Society of London; and, raising the awareness of the museum, not only to the Smithsonian but also to the District and Capitol Hill.

Upon completion of the Gross Gallery, the historic windows with stamp images have been illuminated until midnight, and seen by Congress, local residents and millions of tourists who pass by the building on tour and Metro buses, in taxis, and as pedestrians. Truly, this is an ultimate achievement of Allen in promoting the hobby and the museum.

Before joining the Smithsonian, Allen retired from the U.S. Postal Service in September 2001 after serving more than 30 years in a variety of senior leadership positions devoted to strategic and policy planning, operations, marketing and logistics. His last position at the Postal Service was senior vice President for future business design.

As a corporate officer for the U.S. Postal Service, Kane helped direct the 25th largest business in the world, with 840,000 employees and $67 billion in revenues. During his tenure he was responsible for a number of critical operations, including coordination of the implementation of thousands of pieces of high-speed automated processing equipment; re-design of national distribution and transportation networks; phase-in of the JFK and LaGuardia airport facilities; and managing the U.S. Postal Service Gulf War Crisis Team, in coordination with the White House and the Department of Defense, to ensure the successful delivery of 2.5 million pounds of mail per day to the Gulf.

Wade E. Saadi, of Brooklyn, New York, is the recipient of the Luff Award for Outstanding Service to the APS.

Saadi, a businessman, has been collecting since childhood and specializes in the U.S. classics period. He also is a writer, researcher, and exhibitor of these issues and has won numerous awards for exhibits and research. His gold medal 1847 exhibit is considered one of the finest studies in the shades and cancellations of that issue ever formed. He currently is exhibiting “Struck on Stamps — 1851 to 1868,” a study of the evolution of early cancellations. He is past president of the APS, U.S. Philatelic Classics Society, and the Collectors Club of New York. He has served as editor of the 1847 section of The Chronicle of the U.S. Classic Postal Issues since 1997. He served as president of the World Stamp Show-NY 2016 international exhibition.

Saadi was selected as president of the APS in 2008, succeeding Nicholas G. Carter, who passed away September 11, 2008. He was re-elected as president in 2009 and 2011, and served on the board as past president from 2013 to 2016. Before becoming APS president Saadi served on the APS board as a director-at-large, and as chairman of the Board of Vice Presidents, as well as chairing the Membership Recruiting Committee.
Saadi was actively involved in the incubation of the Shaping the Future of Philately Council to promote youth philately, and has been a member since 2003 of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum’s Council of Philatelists, where he chairs the New Initiatives Committee. Previously, he chaired the committee overseeing the Arago project, an online research resource on stamps and the history of postal operations as seen through the NPM’s collection.

APS and ATA Will Join Forces at
2018 StampShow in Columbus, Ohio

The American Philatelic Society and the American Topical Association will co-host next summer’s large national philatelic show scheduled for Columbus, Ohio.

Leaders of the APS and ATA made that announcement Friday, June 23 at the ATA National Topical Show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

“The 2018 show in Columbus just got even more exciting,” said Scott English, Executive Director of the American Philatelic Society, “The partnership between the APS and the ATA gets stronger every day and together we’re going to have a ‘can’t miss’ stamp show.”

“This highly anticipated event is a real sign that philatelic organizations have begun a new era of cooperation for great benefit to our hobby,” said ATA President Dale Smith about the joint show. “This is a wonderful project to combine resources to create one of the best shows to attract a great number of collectors.”

This will be the first time the APS, founded in 1886, and the ATA, founded in 1949, have combined their large annual national shows. The ATA four times has held its national show during a U.S.-based international, most recently in 2016 at World Stamp Show-NY 2016.

“This should be a sign of things to come for the hobby,” added English, “The only way we’re going to grow is by working together. I’d like to thank the Board of the ATA for being first to join us in this new vision.”

Next year will be the 132nd show and convention for the APS and the 68th annual National Topical Stamp Show. Both shows usually change locations from year to year.

The APS — the world’s largest association devoted to philately with about 30,000 members worldwide — every summer hosts StampShow, the country’s largest annual philatelic show, which includes world-class philatelic exhibits, scores of dealers and postal agencies, society and study group meetings, special presentations and guest speakers, youth areas, and a banquet. The ATA, devoted to topical stamp collecting, often presents a similar lineup, though often over three days rather than the four presented by StampShow.

This year’s ATA show, being held this weekend in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, features an all-thematic philatelic exhibition, a 30-dealer bourse, and attendance by several cachetmakers, along with meetings, seminars, and activities. Topical exhibits must be thematically treated; that is, they tell a story. They tend to be creative exhibits that make for enjoyable reading.

The American Topical Association, with members in 60 countries, has compiled more than 1,200 checklists (from the common — horses and roses on stamps; to the more unusual, such as hairstyles, banjos, and yellow fever) containing more than 400,000 stamps.

“We find that traditional philatelists often collect a topic or two, and topical collectors often collect a country or other specialty area,” Smith said. “This show will enable them to pursue their full range of philatelic interests.”

The American Philatelic Society will handle all management and logistics for the combined 2018 show. A certain number of exhibit frames will be set aside for topical/thematic philatelic exhibits.

More information about the organizations and their shows are available on the APS and ATA websites.

Disney’s Baddest of the Bad Sneak
Onto Surprise Set of New U.S. Stamps

We love to hate them. How else do we best describe all of those animated Disney villains we have come to know over the years? Now, 10 of the most dastardly of the Disney evil-doers will appear on a set of stamps issued on a sheet of 20 forever stamps by the U.S. Postal Service.

The stamps were announced today and will be issued July 15 during D23 Expo 2017 — a Disney fan event — July 15 at the Anaheim, California Convention Center. RSVP for the ceremony via this website: usps.com/disney.

Among those featured will be the antagonist from Disney’s first animated feature-length film, the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).

The other villains appearing are Honest John, from Pinocchio (1940), Lady Tremaine, from Cinderella (1950), the Queen of Hearts, from Alice in Wonderland (1951), Captain Hook, from Peter Pan (1953), Maleficent, from Sleeping Beauty (1959), Cruella De Vil, from One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961), Ursula, from The Little Mermaid (1989), Gaston, from Beauty and the Beast (1991), and Scar, from The Lion King (1994).

Art director Derry Noyes of Washington, D.C, designed the stamps.

The stamps also are a tribute to the women — most of them young and eager to work for Disney — who worked long hard hours in the Ink and Paint Division to trace and color the film cels that were used to create the early Disney films, such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio and Fantasia.

The department was formed in 1923. In the early days of animation, creating a film was a painstaking process. After the animators’ pencil drawings were finished, they went to Ink and Paint at which thousands of cels had to be created by tracing and coloring.

There, highly specialized artists meticulously recreated each pencil line in ink, capturing every nuanced movement and expression. In the early 1930s, the artists began using rich colors on the animation cels.

About 100 female inkers and painters would rouse themselves as early as 4:30 in the morning and work as much as 85 hours a week to do the intricate work in order to finish the film on time.

The last full-length animated Disney film to use the hand-painted cel process was The Little Mermaid (1989). Beauty and the Beast (1991) and The Lion King (1994) were hand drawn. The original pencil drawings for those films were then scanned and painted digitally. For these stamps, the characters Gaston (Beauty and the Beast) and Scar (The Lion King) have been recreated using traditional ink and paint techniques.

Patricia Zohn in 2010 wrote a fascinating story about the inkers and painters for Vanity Fair. She used much material from her aunt, Rae Medby McSpadden, and her friends, who worked in the Disney animation studios full-time in the early years and off-and-on into the 1960s.

“If you were there by nine you got the black pen,” remembers painter June Walker Patterson in Zohn’s story. “They’d change pens exactly at nine—when you got the red pen. I was in the red every time. I was docked for every minute that I was late.”

Rae made her way to Los Angeles and had been lucky to get in with the last trainees of January 1936. She was hired in January 1936 after five unpaid months and weekly, nerve-racking “elimination days,” when accuracy and speed were meticulously reviewed, Zohn wrote.

“ ‘They were very demanding,’ inker Yuba Pillet O’Brien remembers in Zohn’s story. ‘Out of our class [‘35] of 60, they only hired 3 and 1 was let go.’ All for the starting salary of $16 per week. But what some candidates lacked in experience or art education, they made up for in moxie.”

National Topical Show Brewing in
Milwaukee This Weekend

The National Topical Stamp Show (NTSS), sponsored by the American Topical Society, will be held June 23–25 at Milwaukee Crowne Plaza Airport, 6401 S. 13th St., Milwaukee, WI 53221 (Just off I-41, exit 319.) Show hours are Friday and Saturday 10–6, and Sunday 10–3. Parking is free, $5 admission good for all 3 days.

The show will feature:
• 15 dealers
• a cachetmakers bourse
• exhibits treated thematically; that is, they tell a story. Come to see the variety and creativity
• the United Nations Postal Administration will be present with current items for sale
• Birthday Tribute and Program on thematic exhibiting pioneer Mary Ann Owens
• ATA Annual Meeting
• Disney-Themed Beginner/Youth Area
• Silent Auctions all 3 days
• Meetings of ATA-Affiliated Study Units
• What’s in Your Attic? Free Stamp Evaluations
• Tours, Reception, Banquet, Hospitality Room

APS Executive Director Scott English will attend the show, offer special recognition to some ATA members, and make a special announcement at the ATA’s annual meeting at 1 p.m. Friday.

There are programs, society meetings, and special events throughout the show see a complete schedule.

More information is available on the NTSS website or contact the ATA office at 618-985-5100.