American Treasures Series
Issue Date: August 14, 2008
City: Hartford, CT
Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902) was born in Germany and moved to America with his family when he was two years old.
Bierstadt became the most financially successful of all the Hudson River School artists. Named for the area where their style first developed during the early 1800s, these artists created romantic scenes of unspoiled nature. Like most of the group, Bierstadt had a studio in New York City. From there, he traveled to the nearby Hudson River area to paint its beautiful uninhabited mountains, lakes, and forests.
In search of new scenery, Bierstadt traveled west in 1858. Stopping in Waterville, New York, he met and married his wife, Rosalie. There, he painted the artwork featured on the cachet of this cover, entitled Autumn in America, Oneida County, New York.
Continuing west, Bierstadt captured the majesty of the American West in paint, glorifying its pristine landscapes, wild animals, and Native Americans. Using a technique called Luminism, Bierstadt bathed water and sky in exaggerated light, portraying America as the new Garden of Eden.
In 2008, the U.S. Postal Service honored Albert Bierstadt with a 42¢ commemorative stamp showcasing his painting, Valley of the Yosemite, the 8th issue in the American Treasures Series.