Stamp Announcement 10-07: Abstract Expressionists

Stamp Announcement 10-07: Abstract Expressionists

On March 11, 2010, in Buffalo, New York, the Postal Service™ will issue a 44-cent, Abstract Expressionists commemorative stamp in ten designs in a pressure-sensi­tive (PSA) souvenir sheet of 10 stamps (Item 465600). The stamp, designed by Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, Maryland, goes on sale nationwide March 11, 2010.

In celebration of the abstract expressionist artists of the 20th Century, Art Director Ethel Kessler and noted Art Historian Jonathan Fineberg (Gutgsell Professor Art His­tory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) selected ten paintings to feature on this colorful pane of self-adhe­sive stamps. Kessler used elements from Barnett New­man’s Achilles (1952) to frame the stamps. The arrangement of the stamps suggests paintings hanging on a gallery wall. For design purposes, the sizes of the stamp are not in relative proportion to the paintings. The pane also features selvage text and a quotation by Robert Mother­well. Each stamp includes the artist’s name and verso text that identifies the painting and briefly tells something about the artist.

How to Order the First Day of Issue Postmark

Customers have 60 days to obtain the first day of issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office™ facility, at The Postal Store® website at, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

Abstract Expressionists Stamp


After applying the first day of issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by May 12, 2010.

How to Order First Day Covers

Stamp Fulfillment Services also offers first day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first day of issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic Catalog. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-STAMP-24 or writing to:

Information Fulfillment
Dept. 6270
U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014



Abstract Expressionists

Item Number:


Denomination & Type of Issue:

44-cent Commemorative


Souvenir Sheet of 10 (10 designs)

Issue Date & City:

March 11, 2010, Buffalo,
NY 14240

Art Director:

Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD


Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD


Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD




Joseph Sheeran

Manufacturing Process:



Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)

Printed at:

Williamsville, NY

Press Type:

Mueller Martini, A76

Stamps per Pane:


Print Quantity:

30 million stamps

Paper Type:

Nonphosphored Type III, Block Tagged

Adhesive Type:


Processed at:

Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd.


Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, PMS 7544 (C Gray)

Stamp Orientation:

3 Horizontal, 5 Vertical and 2 Horizontal and Vertical

Single Stamp Image Size:

Hans Hoffman (Vertical & Horizontal)

1.085 x 1.085 in./27.56 x 27.56 mm

Mark Rothko (Vertical)

1.27 x 1.82 in./32.26 x 46.23 mm

Robert Motherwell (Horizontal)

2.004 x 1.82 in./50.90 x 46.23 mm

Jackson Pollock (Horizontal)

2.363 x 1.605 in./60.03 x 40.03 mm

Joan Mitchell (Vertical)

1.27 x 1.82 in./32.26 x 46.23 mm

Arshile Gorky (Horizontal)

1.42 x 1.159 in./36.07 x 29.44 mm

Willem de Kooning (Vertical & Horizontal)

1.382 x 1.382 in./38.66 x 38.66 mm

Clyfford Still (Vertical)

1.27 x 1.82 in./32.26 x 46.23 mm

Barnett Newman (Vertical)

1.27 x 1.82 in./32.26 x 46.23 mm

Adolph Gottlieb (Vertical)

1.27 x 1.82 in./32.26 x 46.23 mm

Single Stamp Size:

Hans Hoffmann (Vertical & Horizontal)

1.225 x 1.225 in./31.12 x 31.12 mm

Mark Rothko (Vertical)

1.41 x 1.96 in./35.81 x 49.78 mm

Robert Motherwell (Horizontal)

2.140 x 1.96 in./54.37 x 48.78 mm

Jackson Pollock (Horizontal)

2.503 x 1.745 in./63.58 x 44.32 mm

Joan Mitchell (Vertical)

1.41 x 1.96 in./35.81 x 49.78 mm

Arshile Gorky (Horizontal)

1.56 x 1.299 in./39.62 x 32.10 mm

Willem de Kooning (Vertical & Horizontal)

1.522 x 1.522 in./38.66 x 38.66 mm

Clyfford Still (Vertical)

1.41 x 1.96 in./35.81 x 49.78 mm

Barnett Newman (Vertical)

1.41 x 1.96 in./35.81 x 49.78 mm

Adolph Gottlieb (Vertical)

1.41 x 1.96 in./35.81 x 49.78 mm

Full Pane Size (w x h):

8.75 x 7.0 in./222.25 x 177.80 mm

Plate Size:

90 stamps per revolution

Plate Numbers:


Marginal Markings:


Header: “ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISTS” • “The function of the Artist is to express reality as felt.” • Robert Motherwell • “The abstract expressionists … and utterly new.”


© 2009 USPS • Header: “ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISTS” USPS logo • Barcode (465600) • Price: “.44 x 10 = $4.40” • Verso about each artist • Proprietary notices

Philatelic Products

There are six philatelic products available for this stamp issue:

n 465662*, First Day Cover Full Sheet, $6.90.

n 466664*, First Day Cancelled Full Sheet, $6.90.

n 465668*, Digital Color Postmark Set of 10, $15.00

n 465691*, Ceremony Program, $6.95.

n 465693*, Souvenir Sheet of 10 w/First Day Cover Pane (Full Sheet), $11.95.

n 465699*, Souvenir Sheet of 10 & Digital Color Post­mark First Day Cover (Set of 10), $19.95.

Items with an asterisk (*) will use the 128 barcode from Stamp Fulfillment Services. All other philatelic products will continue to use barcode series A, with the exception of the Yearbook and the Guide Book.

Distribution: Item 465600, 44-cent Abstract Expressionists, PSA Souvenir Sheet of 10 Stamps

Stamp distribution offices (SDOs) will receive approxi­mately 18–25 percent of their standard automatic distribu­tion quantity for a PSA sheet stamp. Distributions are rounded up to the nearest master carton size of 2,000 panes (20,000 stamps).

Initial Supply to Post Offices

SDOs will make a subsequent automatic distribution to Post Offices of 15 percent of their standard automatic dis­tribution quantity using PS Form 17, Stamp Requisition/Stamp Return. SDOs must not distribute this commemora­tive sheet to Post Offices before March 3, 2010.

Additional Supply

Post Offices requiring additional commemorative sheets must requisition them from their designated SDO/stamp distribution center (SDC) using PS Form 17. SDOs requir­ing additional commemorative sheets must order them from the appropriate accountable paper depository (APD) or SDC using PS Form 17.

For fulfilling supplemental orders from SDOs, the San Francisco APD, New York APD, Dulles SDC, and Kansas City SDC will receive additional quantities.

Sales Policy

All Post Offices must acquire and maintain a supply of each new commemorative stamp as long as customer demand exists, until inventory is depleted, or until the stamp is officially withdrawn from sale. If supplies run low, Post Offices must reorder additional quantities using their normal ordering procedures.

Additional Comments

The $4.40 Abstract Expressionists commemorative souvenir sheet may not be split and the stamps may not be sold individually.