Statue of Freedom Stamps to be issued at APS headquarters

First responders – firefighters, law enforcement officers and emergency medical service professionals – will be honored sometime this year on a single commemorative stamp, according to a new schedule and announcement of new stamps from the U.S. Postal Service. The date and location of the stamp’s release was not announced.

A group of three high value stamps – $1, $2, $5 – featuring an image of the Statue of Freedom which stands atop the Capitol Dome also were announced. The stamps will have a formal first-day ceremony June 27 at the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. The date – a Wednesday – coincides with the midway point of the American Philatelic Society’s annual Summer Seminar on Philately.

The new stamps were announced, along with a full calendar of release dates for other stamps from June through September.

Also newly released was a full design of the previously announced John Lennon stamp pane, which will be part of the Music Icons stamp series, whose previous releases have included stamps for Johnny Cash and Janis Joplin. The John Lennon pane of 16 features the same basic image design, but each of four rows features different colorations. Ablack-and-white photograph of Lennon seated at his white piano appears on the reverse side of the stamp pane, along with Lennon’s signature and the Music Icons series logo.

The complete summer release schedule is as follows (all stamps are first-class forever stamps unless noted):

$1, $2, $5 Statue of Freedom  June 27            Bellefonte, Pennsylvania

O Beautiful (pane of 20)         July 4  Colorado Springs, Colorado

WWI: Turning the Tide          July 27            Kansas City, Missouri

The Art of Magic (strip of 5)  August 7         Las Vegas, Nevada

Dragons (block of 4)   August 9         Columbus Ohio (StampShow)

U.S. Air Mail (red)     August 11       College Park, Maryland

John Lennon (Music Icons series; 4 colors)   September 7    New York City

Birds in Winter (block of four)           September 22 Quechee, Vermont

The Statue of Freedom Stamps to be formally issued at the headquarters of the American Philatelic Society feature the head of the statue that tops the United States Capitol dome, in a modern interpretation of an engraved vignette originally created for a 1923 stamp ($5 Head of Freedom Statue). The engraved artwork was originally created for the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing by John Eissler (1873–1962). Rendered in emerald green ($1), indigo ($2) and brick red ($5), the tightly cropped enlargements highlight the solid and dashed lines and the crosshatching characteristic of engraved illustrations. The $1 and $2 stamps will be sold in panes of 10; the $5 stamp in panes of four.

American sculptor Thomas Crawford (1814–1857) created the allegorical Statue of Freedom during the mid-1850s. She wears a variation on a Roman helmet — circled by stars, topped with an eagle head, and embellished by feathered plumes meant to evoke Native American headdress. Installation of the statue onto the new Capitol dome was completed in 1863.

All three stamps are printed in intaglio and were designed by Art Director Greg Breeding.

Likewise, the First Responders stamp was previously unannounced. The digital illustration is a symbolic scene that shows three first responders in profile, facing right, as they race into action. From left to right, the first figure is a firefighter carrying an axe. The second figure is an EMS worker, with the EMS Star of Life visible on her cap, upper arm and emergency bag. The third figure is a law-enforcement officer shining a flashlight toward unknown danger ahead.

The firefighter is in red, the EMS worker in white and the police officer in blue, colors that are both patriotic and symbolic of the profession. The dark background and signs of smoke in around the figures suggest the wide range of situations that demand the immediate attention of a first responder.

Artist Brian Stauffer worked with art director and designer Antonio Alcalá and designer Ricky Altizer to create this stamp.

APS Interview: A Youthful Perspective on Philately

At the First Day Ceremony for the Mister Rogers forever stamp, APS Editor Martin Miller had the opportunity to talk with Jessica Manack. Jessica, in attendance with her husband and their children, offered a modern perspective on Mister Rogers, stamps and collecting.

Listen to that interview here:

After the event, Jessica explored the APS website (www.stamps.org) and became one of the newest members of the APS. She has become a vocal proponent for both the hobby and the society.

Cheryl Ganz Selected to Sign Roll of Distinguished Philatelists

Cheryl R. Ganz, Ph.D., has been selected to sign the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists, regarded by some as the world’s pre-eminent philatelic honor. The roll was established in 1921 by the Philatelic Congress of Great Britain with the approval of King George V, who was the first signatory.

Cheryl Ganz Award with Mick Zais
APS President Mick Zais awards Cheryl Ganz the prize for the Single-Frame Champion of Champions at AmeriStamp Expo 2018.

Ganz, of Winfield, Illinois near Chicago, is a 40-year member of the American Philatelic Society with a long list of philatelic accomplishments, including being a 2016 recipient of the prestigious APS Luff Award and the Alfred F. Lichtenstein Award for Distinguished Service to Philately. In February, Ganz won the Single-Frame Champion of Champions at AmeriStamp Expo for her exhibit, “Zeppelin LZ-129 Hindenburg Onboard Postmarks.” Ganz is curator emerita for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum, where she served as curator from 2005 to 2014.

Ganz will be the lone American among four signatories in 2018. The others are Robert Abensur, of France; Gustaf Douglas, of Sweden; and Geoffrey Lewis, of Australia. The Signing Ceremony will take place on July 27 at The Assembly Rooms in Newcastle upon Tyne, during the Philatelic Congress of Great Britain.

Not including the newly elected RDPs, 380 philatelists from 40 countries have achieved the distinction of signing the roll. There are at present 78 signatories from 26 countries including 16 from the United Kingdom, 14 from the U.S., seven from Germany, four each from France, and Belgium, and three each from Australia and Italy. Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, and Thailand each have two, with other countries including Austria, Canada, Colombia, Finland, Greece, Israel, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, The Russian Federation, and Switzerland, having one.

At a recent meeting of the Board of Election, comprising Jane Moubray (chair), Tomas Bjäringer, Christopher Harman, Alan Huggins, Rolf-Dieter Jaretzky, Robert Odenweller, Christopher King and Raymond Todd, the members unanimously decided to ask the four named to sign the Roll.

In its formal news release, the RDP notes that Ganz “is known for her lifelong philatelic outreach at local, national and international levels, engaging a vast spectrum of collectors from specialists to new audiences. Her collections, exhibits, research and writing, and speaking focus primarily on her specialty of zeppelin posts.”

Philatelic recognitions include the Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award, Luff Award for Exceptional Contributions to Philately, Alfred F. Lichtenstein Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to Philately, American Air Mail Society Research Award … She has written and edited books, articles, and online content, putting philately in a wider context to reach larger audiences without sacrificing philatelic scholarship. Her service to organized philately is multi-faceted in a variety of positions of influence and accomplishment.”

The news release offers the following about this year’s other signees:

Abensur has researched widely and his main collecting and researching areas are the postal rates and regulations of France and Alsace-Lorraine. His latest book published in 2017 is The Franco-Sardinian Route in International Relations (1818-1851) and his articles on various subjects number more than 100 in France and elsewhere. He has been president of the Académie de philatélie since 2002 and was awarded the chevalier dans l’ordre des Art et des Lettres in 2009, and gained a Large Gold Medal at FEPA 2015.

Douglas has formed what are considered to be the most complete collections of both Sweden and Finland in existence. His monographs are always of the highest standard and he has attained Gold and Large Gold medals in international exhibitions since 1971. He co-authored Sweden Number One, in 2005. He was awarded the Tilleard Medal of the Royal Philatelic Society London as well as the Strandell Medal, the highest philatelic recognition in Sweden, in 2014 and is presently working hard as Head Patron for Stockholmia 2019.

Lewis’ collections have included the postal history of Spanish Philippines, Cuba, New Orleans and stampless mail entering Spain. He has won FIP Large Gold medals in postal history with exhibits on the subject matter of each of the three continental areas: Asia, Europe and the Americas.  In 2013 he attained a Large Gold Medal for his well-written study – The 1836 Anglo-French Postal Convention. He was president of the Philatelic Society of New South Wales between 1998 and 2013, was chairman of the jury at Sydney 2015 and president of the organizing committee of the National Philatelic Exhibitions held in Sydney in 2007 and 2011.

A signing ceremony for the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists takes place annually at the Philatelic Congress of Great Britain, and has done so, with the exception of the war years 1941-1945, at every Congress since.

An invitation to sign the Roll is regarded as the world’s pre-eminent philatelic honor. The Board of Election is composed of eight Signatories to the Roll, of whom four must reside in the United Kingdom. The Secretary is the Keeper of the Roll, and the Board meets annually to consider nominations and agrees the names of new signatories, which are at its absolute discretion.

Lena Horne and Mister Rogers Among 10 New Stamps Scheduled for First Quarter

The U.S. Postal Service has released issue dates and cities for 10 stamps to be issued in the first quarter of 2018. All are single-stamp issues with the exception of the 10-stamp Bioluminescent Life issue.

The year’s first stamp will be the Year of the Dog Lunar New Year forever stamp scheduled for a January 11 release in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Other stamps (all are first-class forever stamps unless noted), first-day dates and locations are:

Love Flourishes, which is part of the ongoing Love series, January 18, in Phoenix, Arizona.

Byodo-In Temple, a popular tourist attraction in Hawaii, $6.70 Priority Mail, January 21, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Sleeping Bear Dunes, a national park in Michigan, American Landmarks series, $24.70 Priority Mail Express, January 21, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Meyer Lemons, ongoing Fruits definitive, 2 cents, January 19, in Kenner, Louisiana, the first day of the Crescent City Stamp Club’s two-day Winter Stamp Fest and Postcard Show.

Lena Horne, part of the Black Heritage series, January 30, New York City.

U.S. Flag, February 9, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The date coincides with the first day of the three-day American Stamp Dealers Association Winter Postage Stamp Show.

Bioluminescent Life, 10 stamps, February 22 in Fort Pierce, Florida, home of the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.

Illinois Statehood, March 5, in Springfield, Illinois, the state capital.

Mister Rogers, children’s television pioneer Fred Rogers (1928–2003), March 23, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

USPS Releases “Sneak Peek” of 2018 New Issues

Yesterday, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) offered a sneak peek of their planned new issues for 2018. In a press release including images of the issues announced, the USPS highlighted “a portion of its 2018 stamp program.”

The new issues include Forever stamp designs honoring Mister Rogers, Lena Horne, John Lennon and Sally Ride. Additional stamps will include:

– American landscapes to commemorate the song, “America the Beautiful”;

– Frozen treats that depict various popsicles and frozen confections;

– Four designs celebrating the role of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education;

– a celebration of Illinois statehood;

– the American sacrifices in World War I, and;

– much more including bioluminescent creatures, magic tricks and mythical dragons.

No issuance dates or other detailed information was released and the Postal Service did state that the designs and details are subject to change until the actual release of the stamps.

You can find even more information about the announcement, including stamp images on the APS Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/american.philatelic.society

You can also ready the full release from the U.S. Postal Service at: http://bit.ly/2AAync9