French Art Stamp Features American Painter Edward Hopper
Edward Hopper’s Morning Sun (Soleil du matin) is the subject of the French postal administration’s 1,45 Euro stamp, released on February 3, 2012. It is another in La Poste’s long-running topical art stamp series that began in 1961 at the behest of then French minister of Culture Andre Malraux as part of his Musee Imaginaire (Museum of the Imagination).
Hopper (1882-1967) was an American Painter, born in Nyack, NY a small town about 20 miles north of New York City. As a young man he made several trips to Europe, spending considerable time in France ostensibly studying art. He created several significant paintings while in Paris, but somewhat famously denied that the city had a great influence on him. “Whom did I meet? Nobody. I'd heard of Gertrude Stein, but I don't remember having heard of Picasso at all.”
Nevertheless, 2012 turns out to be a big year for Hopper in France, seeing both the issuance of the Morning Sun stamp and the first Parisian Edward Hopper retrospective exhibition at the National Galleries of the Grand Palais.
In his early years Hopper worked as a commercial artist. He did not like this work but did it to support himself. At one time he worked for an advertising agency doing trade magazine covers. He also made movie posters and during WWI he created a prize-winning poster for the war effort.
Hopper is known for realistic paintings that portray the middle class and depict the loneliness and isolation of city life. Morning Sun is part of that tradition. Using his wife Jo as a model, his picture shows a woman alone on a bed in a bleak, bare room. Although she is bathed in the morning sun, she shows no joy as her day begins. The emptiness of the room in powerful symbolism suggests the emptiness of her life.
A more cheerful Hopper painting, The Long leg was the subject of a 2011 United States stamp. It shows a boat sailing against the wind near Provincetown off the tip of Cape Cod.
Owls of Taiwan Stamp Issue of 2012
Released June 6, 2012 this attractive four stamp set features native Taiwan owls.
Royal Mail Stamps Celebrate Works of Charles Dickens
Celebrating the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, on June 19, 2012 the British Royal Mail issued ten stamps along with other philatelic items featuring some of his best known characters.
Norway Celebrates 100 Years of Aviation
To mark the occasion of the centennial of Norwegian aviation, Norway Post issued a three stamp set on May 18, 2012. The stamps picture various aircraft that have figured in the country's aviation history.
Japanese Stamps Feature Peter Rabbit and Other Beatrix Potter Characters
On March 31, 2011 Japan Post issued two sheets of stamps to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Japanese-language publication of The Tale of Peter Rabbit. The twenty stamps making up the series depict some of Beatrix Potter’s most memorable and beloved scenes and characters.
Old Ironsides Commemorates War of 1812 Centennial
The frigate USS Constitution, popularly known as Old Ironsides, is the subject of this first class stamp commemorating the centennial of the War of 1812. One of six ships designed by naval architect Joshua Humphries, Old Ironsides is oldest commissioned warship still afloat.