|Date of Issue||July 12, 2017|
First-Class Mail, Forever
|Perforation or Dimension||1.56 x 1.225 in/39.62 x 31.12 mm|
|Series Time Span||2017|
|Issue Location||Chadds Ford, PA 19317|
|Postal Administration||United States|
On July 12, 2017, in Chadds Ford, PA, the U.S. Postal Service® will issue the Andrew Wyeth stamps (Forever® priced at 49 cents), in twelve designs, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of 12 stamps. The stamps will go on sale nationwide July 12, 2017.
The Andrew Wyeth Forever stamp pane includes 12 stamps that feature details of different Wyeth paintings. First row, L to R: “Wind from the Sea” (1947), “Big Room” (1988) and “Christina’s World” (1948). Second row, L to R: “Alvaro and Christina” (1968), “Frostbitten” (1962) and “Sailor’s Valentine” (1985). Third row, L to R: “Soaring” (1942–1950), “North Light” (1984) and “Spring Fed” (1967), Fourth row, L to R: “The Carry” (2003), “Young Bull” (1960) and “My Studio” (1974). The selvage shows a photograph of Wyeth from the 1930s.
“Christina’s World,” inspired by Christina Olson, a disabled neighbor in Maine, is a rich and enigmatic work that inspired decades of interpretation. The Museum of Modern Art in New York City purchased the painting in 1948. Today, “Christina’s World” is one of the iconic works of 20th-century American art. From the sale of “Christina’s World” to the sensational “Helga pictures” unveiled in the 1980s, Wyeth captured the imagination of the American public and established himself as one of the most prominent American artists of the 20th century.
Finding endless inspiration both in his hometown of Chadds Ford, PA, and in rural Maine, he scrutinized the lives, houses, and personal belongings of the people around him, sometimes painting their portraits but just as often using objects and places to represent them. Conveying emotions that were difficult to put into words, Wyeth’s work stood out for its startling austerity and stark lack of color — the artist’s way of reflecting memories, associations, and echoes from his life, including his own distinctive sense of the wondrous and the strange.
In 2017, the centennial of Wyeth’s birth offers an occasion to look anew at a lifetime of remarkable art. With its subtle symbolism and eerie implications, his work invites us to reinterpret his personal vision — and to learn to see layers unnoticed before.
The son of renowned illustrator N.C. Wyeth, Wyeth was born and raised in Chadds Ford. He and his wife lived there while typically spending each summer and early fall in Maine. In both places, he scrutinized the lives, houses, and personal belongings of the people around him, finding particular inspiration in the German immigrants on a nearby Chadds Ford farm and often painting portraits of them and views in and around their home. By this time, the tendencies that define much of his work were taking shape, among them a focus on death and loss; the use of places and objects to serve as stand-ins for people; an intense and unsentimental scrutiny of nature; and an often startling austerity and stark lack of color.
Rather than depict nature with photographic accuracy, however, Wyeth used painting to convey emotions that were difficult to put into words. His work often reflected memories, associations, and echoes from his personal life, including his own distinctive sense of the wondrous and the strange.
Wyeth received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1990. Sites in Pennsylvania and Maine that influenced his work were recently designated National Historic Landmarks.