2020 55¢ Ruth Asawa
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: August 13, 2020
First Day City: San Francisco, CA
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 18,000,000
Though Ruth Asawa built her career as a sculptor, it was drawing and painting that first drew her to a career in art.
Growing up on her family's farm, Asawa recalled riding on the tractor and dragging her feet in the dirt. She made endless hourglass figures that were later seen in her sculptures. She studied calligraphy in school and enjoyed drawing, usually cartoons such as Little Orphan Annie and Blondie.
When Asawa went to art school, it was to become a painter. While she soon became enamored with wire sculptures, drawing, and painting were always a part of her life. She drew every day – before her family woke up, while watching TV, and at meetings. Asawa's drawings were a daily exercise she used to help her see the world around her. In later years, Asawa returned to painting. These were figurative works of plants and flowers, one of her favorite subjects in sculpture as well.
Asawa also experimented with printmaking. In 1965, she joined a fellowship aimed at reviving the art of traditional lithography. She later said she wished she had another lifetime to dedicate to it.
Whether drawing in space with sculpture, or on paper, Asawa was always experimenting with shape and space. As her children recalled, she was always making art – "it was part of her everyday existence."