Postal Service Previews Spectacular National Parks Stamp Pane

April 28, 2016 @USPS

Theodore Roosevelt National Park stamp

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service previewed its stunning pane of 16 National Parks Forever stamps today in this collection that celebrates the National Park Service on its 100th anniversary.

The June 2 first-day-of-issue ceremony will take place at New York City’s Jacob Javits Center at 11 a.m. as part of World Stamp Show-NY 2016, the world’s largest stamp show that  takes place in the United States once a decade. Dedication ceremonies will also take place at or near each of the national parks associated with the stamps. Share the news on social media using the hashtags #NPSStamps, #FindYourPark or #NPS100.

World Stamp Show-NY 2016 will take place May 28–June 4. This mega event is not to be missed by beginners or advanced stamp collectors. There will be something for everyone there, no matter what you collect. Stamp collecting is a hobby for a lifetime. No matter what your specialty, you’ll find it at the show.

Designing the National Parks Stamp Pane
The National Park System consists of more than 400 park sites. The stamp pane, designed by Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, MD, includes 16 stamp images featuring existing art or photography representing the regional diversity of the National Park System. All stamps show national parks or plants, animals, artwork, objects and structures found in or associated with a national park. Small type on the margin of each stamp indicates the park’s location.

Kessler arranged the stamps to approximate their locations around America:  Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve on the upper left; Maine’s Acadia National Park on the upper right; Hawaii’s Haleakalā National Park on the bottom left; and Florida’s and Mississippi’s Gulf Islands National Seashore on the bottom right.


Top Row
The top row includes four stamps. The first features a photograph by Tom Bean of Flagstaff, AZ, of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska. The second features a photograph by Matt Dieterich of Pittsburgh, PA, of Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State (see his time lapse video). The third shows a detail from the oil-on-canvas painting “Scenery in the Grand Tetons” by Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902), currently held at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Vermont. The fourth is a photograph by David Muench of Goleta, CA, of Bass Harbor Head Light at Acadia National Park in Maine.


Second Row
The second row from the top includes two stamps, one on either side of the central selvage image. The stamp on the left features a detail of a chromolithograph-on-canvas, “The Grand Canyon of Arizona, from Hermit Rim Road” by artist Thomas Moran (1837–1926) from the collection of Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. The stamp on the right features a photograph by Tim Fitzharris of Fayetteville, AR, of wild horses at Assateague Island National Seashore, located in Maryland and Virginia.


Third Row
The third row from the top includes four stamps, two on either side of the central selvage image. The first stamp on the left features a detail of a photograph by Tim Campbell of Balclutha, a ship at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. The second stamp on the left shows a photograph by Tom Till of Moab, UT, taken at Arches National Park in Utah. The first stamp on the right features a photograph by QT Luong of San Jose, CA, of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. In 2009, Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan featured Roosevelt in the film “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.” The second stamp on the right shows a photograph by Cindy Dyer of Alexandria, VA, taken at Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens in Washington, DC.


Fourth Row
The fourth row from the top includes two stamps, one on either side of the central selvage image. The stamp on the left features a 1935–1936 pastel-on-paper depiction by Helmuth Naumer, Sr. (1907–1990) of the Revival-style visitor center at Frijoles Canyon at Bandelier National Monumentin New Mexico. The stamp on the right features a photograph by Paul Marcellini of Miami, FL, of Everglades National Park in Florida.


Fifth Row
The fifth and bottom row of the pane includes four stamps. The first features a photograph by Kevin Ebi who lives near Seattle, WA, of Haleakalā National Park in Hawaii. The second shows a photograph by Art Wolfe of Seattle, WA, of bison at Yellowstone National Park, located in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. The third stamp shows a photograph by Richard McGuire of Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. The fourth stamp features a photograph by John Funderburk of Hernando, FL, of a heron at Gulf Islands National Seashore, located in Florida and Mississippi.


Center Image
The image in the center is a detail of artwork from the 1-cent Yosemite stamp issued in 1934, rendered here in light brown. Text superimposed over the center image reads: “Our national parks tell distinctly American stories. Whether they inspire you to marvel at grand vistas, travel along scenic waterways and winding paths, or visit historic buildings and homes, discovery and exploration await.” A banner across the top of the pane reads “NATIONAL PARKS.”

Text on the back of the stamp pane (verso text)
In the 100 years since its creation in 1916, the National Park Service has been the steward of an ongoing story that every American continues to write.

Our first national park — as well as the world’s — was established with the creation of Yellowstone in 1872, and Americans have long envisioned parks as places of wild wonders and breathtaking views. Those “crown jewels” will always be iconic American landscapes, but our park system is now even more remarkable for its breadth. Parkways, monuments, seashores, scenic rivers, urban parks, recreation areas, historic buildings and homes — our park system encompasses all of these and more. Parks also offer American history on a human scale, interpreting and making accessible such complex events as the Civil War and the civil rights movement, and they preserve irreplaceable resources for future study and enjoyment, from ancient fossils and fragile ecosystems to an amazing array of artifacts and art. 

Each year, millions of people seek out the more than 400 sites in the national park system, where they find endless opportunities for adventure, education, and fun. With the enthusiastic support of visitors, our parks will continue to delight and inspire all Americans and impart a profound legacy for generations to come.

Four of the images on these stamps were provided by the National Park Service and represent just a glimpse of their priceless holdings. The oil-on-canvas painting Scenery in the Grand Tetons by Albert Bierstadt (detail; first row, second from right) is in the collection of Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. The chromolithograph-on-canvas Grand Canyon of Arizona, from Hermit Rim Road by Thomas Moran (detail; second row, left) is in the collection of Grand Canyon National Park. The three-masted, steel-hulled, square-rigged Balclutha (third row, first from left) is a familiar sight at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. The pastel-on-paper Administration Building, Frijoles Canyon (fourth row, left) by Helmuth Naumer Sr., is in the collection of Bandelier National Monument. The image at the center is a detail of the 1-cent Yosemite stamp issued in 1934, rendered here in light brown. The other images on these stamps are the work of independent photographers — evidence of the vast artistic inspiration our national parks can provide. (End of verso text.)

Visit these links to more information on the parks, the photographers backstories and the paintings depicted on the stamps: Acadia National Park, Arches National Park, Assateague Island National Seashore, Bandelier National Monument, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Everglades National Park, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Grand Canyon National Park,Gulf Islands National Seashore,Haleakalā National Park, Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park,Mount Rainier National Park, San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

When reproducing the stamp images for media use only, please provide the copyright sign (the “c” inside the circle) and 2016 USPS. No notice required for photographs by individual photographers; the National Park Service images all require the following notices:

  • Administration Building, Frijoles Canyon Helmuth Naumer Sr. Bandelier National Monument, BAND 1409.
  • The Grand Canyon of Arizona, from Hermit Rim Road [detail] Thomas Moran Grand Canyon National Park, GRCA 134696.
  • Scenery in the Grand Tetons [detail] Albert Bierstadt, Marsh - Billings - Rockefeller National Historical Park, MABI 2843.
  • Balclutha, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. 
  • Yosemite National Park (illustration); U.S. 1¢ postage [detail] 1934.

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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