Postal Service reveals 16 new stamps for winter mail and holidays in 2020
By Michael Baadke
The United States Postal Service was celebrating Christmas in July, and a few other holidays as well, as it revealed 16 new stamps that will be issued later this year.
The July 28 announcement confirmed previously announced single stamps for Kwanzaa and Hanukkah, with additional news of a single traditional Christmas stamp and a set of four contemporary Christmas stamps.
Also planned is a double-sided pane of 20, which the Postal Service describes as a booklet, containing 10 new stamps for general use showing photographs of wintry scenes.
All will be issued as nondenominated forever stamps for the current first-class domestic letter rate of 55¢. Issue dates for the new stamps were not announced.
The set of 10 Winter Scenes stamps is described as showing “iconic scenes from the northern United States.” All of the images include snow or bare tree branches that convey the wintry environment.
The photographs show a pair of young deer in a snow-covered landscape, a male northern cardinal on snowy tree branches, snow-covered evergreens with a golden sky in the background, a red barn with a holiday wreath on the door, an adult barred owl perched on a thick branch, a blue jay on a bare tree branch, a red barn with snow on the roof, a small cottontail rabbit sitting quietly in the snow, a wide path through the woods with an unspoiled snow covering, and a team of two horses pulling a sleigh through the snow.
The Winter Scenes stamps were designed by USPS art director Derry Noyes using images by various photographers.
The traditional Christmas stamp for 2020 features a detail of the 18th-century painting Our Lady of Guapulo by an unknown Peruvian artist. The painting is from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the museum is identified in small type along the stamp’s bottom margin.
“Enrobed in a pyramidal gown speckled with jewels and holding a scepter woven with roses and leaves, a crowned Virgin Mary looks down at a similarly adorned Christ Child in her left arm,” the Postal Service wrote in its description of the single stamp. The margin framing the scene appears to convey a gray or silver metallic color, and the word “CHRISTMAS” is lettered in black along the top.
It is likely that the traditional Christmas stamp also will be issued in a double-sided pane of 20. USPS art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp.
The contemporary Christmas issue consists of four designs, which the Postal Service describes as being inspired by folk art but with a modern graphic vibe. Each design in red, green and white features different elements associated with Christmas: an ornament tied with a bow, a decorated tree topped with a star, a stocking holding a teddy bear and a sprig of holly, and a prancing reindeer with a bow around his neck.
USPS art director Antonio Alcala designed the stamps using illustrations by Kirsten Ulve.
A new stamp celebrating Hanukkah features a colorful digital illustration by Jing Jing Tsong of two children and a traditional nine-branched Hanukkah menorah. One child is reaching up to replace the shamash, the helper candle used to light the others in the menorah. The word “HANUKKAH” is lettered in dropout white above the candle flames.
USPS art director Ethel Kessler designed the 2020 Hanukkah stamp.
The design of the new Kwanzaa stamp features the face of a woman in profile with her eyes closed.
“Her contemplative demeanor signifies the ways in which observers of Kwanzaa reflect on the seven founding principles, the Nguzo Saba, and their role in everyday life,” according to the Postal Service. “A kinara (candleholder) with the seven lit candles (mishumaa saba) sits in front of her.”
Vibrant decorative elements surround the woman. Below the central design is lettered “KWANZAA/FOREVER/USA.”
Alcala also designed the Kwanzaa stamp, which features artwork by Andrea Pippins.
The Postal Service also noted that several previously issued holiday stamps will be available for purchase during the season while supplies last, including 2016 forever stamps for Eid (Scott 5092) and Diwali (5142), traditional Christmas stamps from 2016 (5143) and 2018 (5331), the 2019 Holiday Wreaths stamps (5424-5427) and others.
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