U.S. # 4748
2013 46¢ Modern Art in America
The beginning of the American Modern Art movement cannot be assigned to a single date. It had long been common for American artists to travel to Europe. The artists who went there in the early 1900s discovered new abstract styles, namely Cubism, Futurism, Impressionism, Fauvism, and Dada. The work of these returning American artists and the Europeans who inspired them were introduced to the American public in 1913. This took place at the International Exhibition of Modern Art, known to many as simply the Armory Show.
Though many art shows have been held at U.S. National Guard armories over the years, this one was the most scandalous. It marked the first time most Americans saw modern abstract art (though Arthur Dove had displayed his abstract works the year before, which is considered the first public exhibition of abstract art in America). Among the artists who participated were Stuart Davis, John Marin, Marsden Hartley, Charles Sheeler, Joseph Stella, and Marcel Duchamp. Many viewers were outraged, including former President Theodore Roosevelt, who proclaimed, “That’s not art!”
In spite of the public reaction, many artists in attendance were inspired and joined the modern art movement. These included Man Ray and Aaron Douglas. The work of all these artists paved the way for more abstract art in America by such artists as Charles DeMuth, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Gerald Murphy.
Though inspired by European artists, American Modern Art is a distinct style all its own. While it encompasses several styles, the subjects are all American, either embracing or rejecting the industrial age that was sweeping the nation.
The Modern Art stamps are all unusual sizes and arranged look like paintings in art gallery. Each stamp pictures the paintings and includes the artists’ name. The back of the pane includes the painting title, date, and information about artist. The pane was designed by Margaret Bauer.
Value: 46¢ First-Class letter rate
Issued: March 7, 2013
First Day City: New York, NY
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Avery Dennison
Method: Photogravure printing in sheets of 48, in 4 panes of 12
Perforation: Serpentine Die Cut 10 ½
Quantity Printed: 23,400,000 stamps
The U.S.P.S. has issued other stamps honoring American artists over the years. Three of the artists featured on this sheet have been honored on U.S. stamps before: Georgia O’Keeffe (U.S. #3069), Marcel Duchamp (U.S. #3183d), and Man Ray (U.S. #3649).