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WASHINGTON — The Postal Service celebrates 12 important modern artists and their works on Forever stamps in early March, 100 years after the groundbreaking Armory Show opened in New York City in 1913, giving many Americans their first look at modern art.
Customers may pre-order the Modern Art in America Forever stamps at usps.com/stamps or by phone at 800-Stamp24 (800-782-6724) for delivery a few days following the issuance of the stamps.
The dozen masterpieces reproduced on the stamp pane were created between 1912 and 1931 and include House and Street (1931), Stuart Davis; I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold (1928), Charles Demuth; The Prodigal Son (1927), Aaron Douglas; Fog Horns (1929), Arthur Dove; Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (1912), Marcel Duchamp; Painting, Number 5 (1914-15), Marsden Hartley; Sunset, Maine Coast (1919), John Marin; Razor (1924), Gerald Murphy; Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico / Out Back of Marie's II (1930), Georgia O’Keeffe; Noire et Blanche (1926), Man Ray; American Landscape (1930), Charles Sheeler; and Brooklyn Bridge (1919-20), Joseph Stella. The stamp pane also includes a quote by Marcel Duchamp and verso text that identifies each work of art and briefly tells something about each artist.
The International Exhibition of Modern Art, known as the Armory Show, opened in New York City on Feb. 17, 1913. This watershed exhibit, held at the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue at 25th Street, presented more than a thousand works, about a third of them by European artists.
At the Armory Show, Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 excited derision as well as admiration. Duchamp and other European painters greatly influenced American artists, including those who created the works shown on this stamp pane. Like Duchamp, who became a U.S. citizen, modern art — and modernity itself — soon found a congenial home in America.
Modern art’s greatest promoter in America during this period was Alfred Stieglitz, the photographer and gallery owner. Stieglitz championed the era’s greatest painters and photographers, including many of the artists shown on this stamp pane. His own work was represented on the Masters of American Photography stamp pane issued in 2002.
Customers may view the Modern Art in America Forever stamps, as well as many of next year’s other stamps on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, on Twitter @USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at beyondtheperf.com/2013-preview. Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service’s online site for information on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
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