United States Postal Service - WASHINGTON — The Postal Service is providing a preview of its 2016 stamp program that is sure to attract the interest of fans of Sarah Vaughan, Star Trek, NASA's New Horizons mission, Trucks, Shirley Temple, flowers, soda fountain fans and the holidays — just to name a small handful.
The Postal Service is also previewing a number of new holiday stamps. A new holiday contemporary stamp is in development and will be previewed at a later date. Unless noted, the date of issuance and the stamp dedication ceremony locations will be announced at a later date.
Black Heritage: Richard Allen Preacher, activist, and civic leader Richard Allen (1760–1831) was an inspiring figure whose life and work resonate profoundly in American history. This stamp coincides with the 200th anniversary of Allen's founding of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, one of the most important institutions in African-American life, as well as his election as its first bishop. The stamp art is a portrait of Allen, a detail from an 1876 print titled "Bishops of the A.M.E. Church." Featuring Allen in the center surrounded by ten other bishops and six historical vignettes, the print is from the collection of the Library Company of Philadelphia. The noon ET Feb. 2 First-Day-of-Issue ceremony will take place at the Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church in Philadelphia. Botanical Art This issuance continues the Postal Service tradition of beautiful floral-themed stamps. The stamp art features 10 different floral designs, each a detail of an illustration that appeared in an American nursery catalog between 1891 and 1912. The design details are courtesy of The New York Botanical Garden; the catalogs are part of the NYBG's Nursery and Seed Catalog Collection, one of the largest and most important collections in the U.S. The Jan. 29, 11 a.m. ET First-Day-of-Issue ceremony will take place in Atlanta at the American Philatelic Society's AmeriStamp Expo at the Hilton Downtown Atlanta. Nativity The stamp art depicts a peaceful yet powerful image of the Holy Family silhouetted against the dawn sky. The baby Jesus lies in a straw-filled manger in the center of the picture with Mary kneeling to the right and Joseph standing to the left holding a lantern with a bright star over the scene. Illustrator Nancy Stahl worked under the art direction of Greg Breeding of Charlottesville, VA, to create the stamp image. Priority Mail Express: Columbia River Gorge With this new Priority Mail Express stamp, available in panes of 10, the Postal Service celebrates the grandeur of the Columbia River Gorge. Approximately 80 miles long and up to 4,000 ft. deep, the gorge runs along the Columbia River to form part of the border between Oregon and Washington. The stamp art captures the beauty of the Columbia River as it winds its way through the steep cliffs of the Cascade Mountain Range. The historic Vista House sitting atop Crown Point and overlooking the river 725 ft. below shimmers in the golden light of the setting sun. Illustrator Dan Cosgrove of Chicago worked under the direction of Phil Jordan of Falls Church, VA, to create the stamp image. Eid Greetings Featuring a design that evokes centuries of tradition, this stamp commemorates the two most important festivals—or eids—in the Islamic calendar: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The gold-colored calligraphy on the Forever stamp was created by world-renowned calligrapher Mohamed Zakaria of Arlington, VA. The script reads Eidukum mumbarak, "May your Eid be bountiful (or blessed). As he has with all previous Eid stamps, Zakariya employed traditional methods to instruments to create the design. He used homemade black ink, and his pens were crafted from seasoned reeds from the Near East and Japanese Bamboo from Hawaii. The paper was specially prepared with a coating of starch and three coats of alum and egg-white varnish, then burnished with an agate stone and aged for more than a year. The black-and-white designed was then colorized by computer. Ethel Kessler was the art director. U.S. Flag This Forever stamp features a detail of Emmanuel Faure's vivid photograph of a flag waiving against the background of a blue sky. The stamp was designed by Greg Breeding under the art direction of Terrance McCaffrey. Hanukkah The 2016 Hanukkah stamp features a warm, elegant illustration of a holiday menorah in the window of a home. Artist William Low added visual interest to the scene by highlighting the contrast between the hot candle flames and the cool snow, the vertical candles and the horizontal window frame, and the dark menorah with brightly lit candles. Ethel Kessler was the art director. Indiana Statehood This stamp celebrates the 200th anniversary of Indiana's statehood. Known as the Hoosier State, Indiana became the 19th state of the Union on Dec. 11, 1816. Indiana has often been considered the heartland of America. Its fertile soil has long made it ideal for crops like corn, which remains a staple of Indiana's agricultural economy. The state is also known for the Indianapolis 500 and its devotion to the game of basketball. The stamp features a contemplative photograph of the expansive cornfields near Milford, IN, at sunset. The photographer, Michael Matti, grew up in Milford. Derry Noyes was the art director. Jack-O'-Lanterns In the spirit of Halloween, the Postal Service issues these delightfully eerie stamps featuring photographs of four different jack-o'-lanterns. These creatively carved pumpkins have been symbols of Halloween in the United States since the late 19th century, not long after celebrations of the holiday began here. These are the first Halloween-themed stamps issued by the Postal Service. Paul Montanari designed and carved the pumpkins under the art direction of Derry Noyes of Washington, DC. Sally Anderson-Bruce photographed the lit Jack-O'-Lanterns used on the stamps. Jaime Escalante Beloved and charismatic California educator Jaime Escalante used unconventional methods to inspire his inner-city students not only to learn calculus but also to pass Advanced Placement tests in the subject. With his colleagues at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles, he proved that students judged to be "unteachable" could master even the most difficult subject. The stamp art features Escalante in a digital illustration that resembles an oil painting. The illustration is based on a 2005 photograph taken by Jaime W. Escalante, in a classroom where his father formerly taught. Legends of Hollywood: Shirley Temple Shirley Temple becomes the 20th inductee into the Postal Service's Legends of Hollywood series. As a child she was the most honored film star in the world. As an adult, Shirley Temple Black had a distinguished career in diplomacy, serving as delegate to the United Nations, U.S. Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia and U.S. Chief of Protocol. She received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1998 and a lifetime achievement award from the Screen Actors Guild in 2006. The stamp art for this Forever stamp features a painting by Tim O'Brien based on a 1935 still image from Curly Top, one of her iconic rolls in movies. The selvage, or area outside of the stamps, features a publicity photo from the 1933 short film "Managed Money." Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, MD, was the art director for the stamp. Lunar New Year: Year of the Monkey The issue commemorates the Year of the Monkey. The stamp art features two bright reddish-orange peonies against a purple background. Peonies symbolize wealth and honor in Chinese culture and often decorate the sides of the traditional drums played during the holiday festivities. The stamp design incorporates two elements from the previous series of Lunar New Year stamps: the intricate cut-paper design of a monkey and the Chinese character for "monkey," drawn in grass-style calligraphy. Kam Mak of Brooklyn, NY was the stamp artist. The artist of the paper-cut design was Clarence Lee. Lau Bun was the calligrapher and Ethel Kessler was the art director. The 11 a.m. First-Day-of-Issue ceremony will take place Feb. 5 in Queens, NY, at the St. John's University Queens Campus – D'Angelo Center. The Moon Taken as the full moon rises, the image captures the brilliant surface of earth's only natural satellite. A full moon occurs approximately every 29.5 days when the moon is opposite the sun, with the earth between the two. Since the rotation and orbit periods of the moon are the same, the same part of the moon is always seen from Earth. Issued at the $1.20 price, this Global Forever stamp can be used to mail a one-ounce letter to any country to which First-Class Mail International service is available. Greg Breeding designed the stamp under the art direction of William Gicker. Music Icon: Sarah Vaughan Sarah Vaughan was one of America's greatest singers, successful in both jazz and pop, with a talent for improvisation and skillful phrasing and a voice that ranged over several octaves. The stamp art is an oil painting of Vaughan in performance based on a 1955 photograph by Hugh Bell. A few lines of selvage text explain her importance as a Music Icon. The cover side of the pane features a larger version of the stamp art, a list of some of Vaughan's popular songs, and the Music Icons logo. Bart Forbes was the artist and Ethel Kessler was the art director. The 11 a.m. First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony will take place March 29 in Newark, NJ, at the Sarah Vaughan Concert Hall. Pets To celebrate America's love for pets, the Postal Service will issue a booklet of 20 Forever stamps featuring photographs of 20 pets. Each photograph represents an animal we love from these groups: puppies, betta fish, iguanas, hamsters, goldfish, parrots, guinea pigs, tortoises, rabbits, kittens, corn snakes, mice, hermit crabs, chinchillas, gerbils, dogs, parakeets, horses, cats, and geckos. The photographs were taken by Eric Isselée and Derry Noyes was the art director. Views of Our Planets With this pane of 16 Forever stamps, the Postal Service showcases some of the more visually compelling full-disk images of the planets obtained during this era. Eight new colorful Forever stamps, each shown twice, feature Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Some show the planets' "true color" — what we might see if traveling through space. Others use colors to represent and visualize certain features of a planet based in imaging data. Still others use the near-infrared spectrum to show things that cannot be seen by the human eye invisible light. The verso text, or text on the back of the stamp pane, explains what these images reveal and identifies the spacecrafts and powerful telescopes that helped obtain them. Antonio Alcalá of Alexandria, VA, was the art director and designer of the stamps. The stamps will be dedicated between May 28 and June 4 at the World Stamp Show – NYC 2016 at the Jacob Javitz Center. Pluto—Explored! In 2006, NASA placed a 29-cent 1991 Pluto: Not Yet Explored stamp in the New Horizons spacecraft. In 2015 the spacecraft carried the stamp on its history-making mission to Pluto and beyond. With this stamp, the Postal Service recognizes the first reconnaissance of Pluto in 2015 by NASA's New Horizons mission. "The New Horizons project is proud to have such an important honor from the U.S. Postal Service," said Alan Stern, New Horizons lead scientist from the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, CO. "Since the early 1990s the old, ‘Pluto Not Yet Explored' stamp served as a rallying cry for many who wanted to mount this historic mission of space exploration. Now that NASA's New Horizons has accomplished that goal, it's a wonderful feeling to see these new stamps join others commemorating first explorations of the planets." The souvenir sheet of four stamps contains two new stamps appearing twice. The first stamp shows an artists' rendering of the New Horizons spacecraft and the second shows the spacecraft's image of Pluto taken near its closest approach. The view — which is color enhanced to highlight surface texture and composition — is a composite of four images from New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), combined with color data from the imaging instrument Ralph that clearly reveals the now-famous heart-shaped feature. Antonio Alcalá was the art director. The stamps will be dedicated between May 28 and June 4 at the World Stamp Show – NYC 2016 at the Jacob Javitz Center. Quilled Paper Heart The stamp art features an elegant heart created using the ancient art of quilling. Quilling involves rolling and shaping narrow strips of paper, laying them on their edges, and gluing them in place to form intricate designs. The heart shape in the center of the stamp art is made from paper strips of many colors and is surrounded by white paper swirls on a white background. The 10 a.m. CT Jan. 12 First-Day-of-Issue ceremony will take place at Dallas Love Field Airport in Dallas, TX. The event, free and open to the public, will be located in the airport terminal outside of the security zone in front of the Moss Lee Love Garden. The public and travelers can purchase the stamps outside and inside the terminal's security zone. Repeal of the Stamp Act, 1766 This issuance commemorates the 250th anniversary of the repeal of the Stamp Act, British legislation that galvanized and united the American colonies and set them on a path toward revolution. The act required payment of a tax on a wide array of paper materials, such as newspapers, pamphlets, legal documents, licenses, mortgages, contracts, and bills of sale. A stamp would be embossed on these papers to indicate payment. The stamp art depicts a crowd gathered around a "liberty tree" to celebrate the repeal of the Stamp Act. The selvage area displays a proof print of a one-penny revenue stamp and includes a famous slogan from the era: "Taxation without representation is tyranny." Verso text appears on the back of the pane. Greg Harlin of Annapolis, MD, was the artist who worked under the direction of Antonio Alcalá. The stamp will be dedicated between May 28 and June 4 at the World Stamp Show – NYC 2016 at the Jacob Javitz Center. Soda Fountain Favorites The booklet of 20 stamps features five different illustrations: a double-spoon ice cream cone, an egg crème, a banana split, a root beer float and a hot fudge sundae. The geometric silver-toned patterns in the selvage and on the booklet evoke a classic chrome-accented soda fountain. Illustrator Nancy Stahl of New York City worked under the art direction of Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, MD to create the stamps. Star Quilts Presorted First-Class With evocative names like Blazing Star, Touching Stars, and Starburst, stars are one of the most popular design motifs for American quilters. Available in coils of 3,000 and 10,000, these Lone Star pattern stamps for use by businesses highlight designs of American quilters. Each stamp shows the detail from a photograph of one of the two quilts — made by Amish quilt makers — highlighting the intricate work involved in creating the star design. The Lone Star design has been known by several names including the Mathematical Star, the Star of the East, and among Native Americans, the Morning Star. The first known example that carried the name "Lone Star" is inscribed "1835," the year before the fall of the Alamo. Derry Noyes was the art director. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. Star Trek Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the television premiere, the new Star Trek Forever stamps showcase four digital illustrations inspired by classic elements of the television program: • the Starship Enterprise inside the outline of a Starfleet insignia against a gold background; • the silhouette of a crewman in a transporter against a red background; • the silhouette of the Enterprise from above against a green background; and, • the Enterprise inside the outline of the Vulcan statue (Spock's iconic hand gesture) against a blue background The words "SPACE… THE FINAL FRONTIER," from Captain Kirk's famous voice-over appear beneath the stamps against a background of stars. The stamps were designed by Heads of State under the art direction of Antonio Alcalá. Pickup Trucks Celebrating the rugged and reliable work vehicles that Americans have driven for nearly a century, each of these four new Forever stamps features on of the following iconic models. • The strong, sturdy, 1938 International Harvester D-2 had a distinct barrel-shaped grille and its elegant styling mirrored the look of luxury automobiles of the era. • The 1953 Chevrolet featured large windshields and provided drivers with excellent visibility, a distinctive curvy grille that bulged in the middle and a six-cylinder engine. • The 1948 Ford F-1 included features like the roomy "Million Dollar Cab," a sharp horizontal five-bar grille and a six cylinder engine. • The 1965 Ford F-100 had a new grille that featured 18 small rectangular openings. It also featured what Ford dubbed "Twin-I-Beam" independent front suspension. Illustrator Chris Lyons created the artwork under the direction of Antonio Alcalá. Kwanzaa The 2016 Kwanzaa stamp continues its transition of honoring the annual holiday that celebrates African-American family, community and culture with this vibrant new stamp design. Bold colors depict a young African-American woman as the embodiment of Africa. She wears a lavender dress with a collar of African design that also appears in her earrings. In front of her sits a large purple bowl overflowing with fruits and vegetables, symbolizing the abundance of African first harvest celebrations that inspired the creation of Kwanzaa. Artist Cynthia Saint James, who created the first Kwanzaa stamp in 1995, hand-sketched the 2016 stamp image and then painted using acrylic on canvas. Greg Breeding was the art director. Priority Mail: La Cueva del Indio With this new Priority Mail stamp the Postal Service celebrates Puerto Rico's many magical and mysterious caves, La Cueva del Indio. The stamp depicts a sunset view of La Cueva del Indio, or the cave of the Indian, which is located near Arecibo on Puerto Rico's north coast. The cave gets its name from the great number of engravings, known as petroglyphs, found on the walls. Illustrator Dan Cosgrove worked under the art direction of Greg Breeding.
Pictures courtesy of USPS.