2022 USPS Stamps Honor Black Sculptor Edmonia Lewis and Ojibwe Modernist Painter George Morrison

  • December 05, 2021 16:28

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One of five USPS FOREVER stamps featuring artwork by George Morrison to be released in 2022.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) will release new FOREVER stamps in 2022 featuring two noteworthy American artists of color.

USPS noted in a statement, "One of the nation’s greatest modernist artists and a founding figure of Native American modernism, George Morrison (1919-2000) challenged prevailing ideas of what Native American art should be, arguing that an artist’s identity can exist independently from the nature of the art he creates. Morrison is best known for his abstract landscapes and monumental wood collages. A pane of 20 colorful stamps showcases five of Morrison’s artworks. The selvage features a photograph of the artist in his home studio."

Zoe Guy writes in Hyperallergic: "Although he described his intangible works as images with 'no evidence of sentiment,' his horizon paintings — saturated with bright colors and sinuous lines — contain a radical sentimentality. To notice the changes in the sky and the earth and then regurgitate them back on the canvas to depict the natural world as a shimmering barrage of color is no small thing."

“I believe in going back to the magic of the earth and the lake, the sky and the universe,” Morrison wrote in his memoir Turning the Feather Around: My Life in Art. “That kind of magic, that kind of religion…A religion of the rocks, the lake, the water, the sky. Yes, that’s what I believe in.”

The 45th stamp in the Black Heritage series honors sculptor Edmonia Lewis (circa 1844-1907). USPS states, "As the first African American and Native American sculptor to achieve international recognition, Lewis challenged social barriers and assumptions about artists in mid-19th century America. The stamp art is a casein-on-wood portrait of Lewis, based on a photograph taken in Boston between 1864 and 1871."

A 2022 USPS stamp featuring sculptor Edmonia Lewis.

Lewis pushed boundaries in the 19th century as a woman sculptor who represented her heritage in stone. She gained renown during the period from 1864 through 1878, and utilized her prominence as an artist to advocate for social change in the aftermath of the Civil War. She largely worked out of a studio in Rome, Italy, with time spent in London and Paris, returning regularly to the United States for tours. 

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