5¢ Fine Arts
Issue Date: December 2, 1964
City: Washington, D.C.
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Giori Press
Color: Ultramarine, black, and dull red
U.S. #1259 honors fine arts. The Society of American Graphic Artists held a competition for the design of this stamp. The winning designer was modernist Stuart Davis.
Fine Art if generally described as “a visual art… created primarily for aesthetic purposes and judged for its beauty and meaningfulness.”
Traditionally, the greater fine arts comprised five different mediums – painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and poetry, in addition to the minor arts of drama and dancing. In more recent years, fine art has also come to include installation, calligraphy, dance, theater, photography, and printmaking.
Featured on the Fine Arts stamp is the artwork of Stuart Davis (1892-1964), who was known for Jazz influenced painting with bold colors. His parents were the editor of the Philadelphia Press and a sculptor from the modern art group known as the Eight. In 1913, he was one of the youngest painters to exhibit work in the Armory Show, which introduced New Yorkers to the new modern art movement.
Davis is known for his hard-edge painting, abstract still-lifes, landscapes, and use of modern subjects such as cigarette packages and spark plug advertisements. He also did ashcan paintings, a form of realist art that pictured daily life in New York’s impoverished neighborhoods.