US Stamps

By Michael Baadke

Born Jan. 28: Jackson Pollock

January 28, 2015 05:55 AM

  • A 33¢ stamp in the U.S. Celebrate the Century series was the first to pay tribute to abstract expressionist artist Jackson Pollock, who was born Jan. 28, 1912.

The influential abstract artist Jackson Pollock (born Jan. 28, 1912, in Cody, Wyo.) has been honored twice on United States stamps. The first time was on a 33¢ stamp issued Feb. 18, 1999, as part of the Celebrate the Century pane of 15 stamps commemorating the 1940s (Scott 3186h). The illustration by Howard Koslow of Pollock crouched in front of one of his paintings is based on a 1949 photograph taken by Martha Holmes for Life magazine.

Text printed on the back of this stamp reads, "Abstract Expressionism was marked by a range of individual styles of modern painting and sculpture. Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) created his most famous gestural abstractions by pouring paint onto canvas laid on his studio floor."

When the U.S. Postal Service paid tribute to 10 different abstract expressionists in a 10-stamp set issued March 11, 2010, it included one stamp reproducing Pollock's 1952 painting Convergence (Scott 4444d).

The inscription on the back of the pane reads, in part, "Best known for his poured paintings, Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) created spontaneously painted works that marked a break with artistic tradition."