US Stamps

Yosemite National Park to host May 15 first day for stamps celebrating photographer Ansel Adams

Apr 22, 2024, 8 AM
On May 15, Yosemite National Park in California will host the first-day ceremony for the pane of 16 United States forever commemorative stamps featuring photographs by renowned landscape photographer Ansel Adams (1902-84).

By Charles Snee

A pane of 16 United States forever commemorative stamps featuring stunning photographs by renowned landscape photographer Ansel Adams will be issued May 15 in Yosemite National Park in California, one of Adams’ favorite locations.

A first-day ceremony is planned for 11 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time at the Ansel Adams Gallery, 9031 Village Drive, in Yosemite National Park.

Daniel Tangherlini, a member of the U.S. Postal Service’s board of governors, will act as the dedicating official.

Joining Tangherlini are Adams’ grandson, Matthew Adams; Cicely Muldoon, superintendent of Yosemite National Park; Scott Gediman, public affairs officer for Yosemite National Park; and Yosemite National Park ranger Shelton Johnson.

Those wishing to attend the ceremony are encouraged to register with the Postal Service online at According to the USPS, each attendee may invite up to four additional guests.

“This pane of 16 stamps features some of Adams’ most famous images in his signature ‘straight photography’ style, an approach defined by its precision and directness,” the Postal Service said in an April 3 press release.

According to the Art Story website, “Straight photography emphasizes and engages with the camera’s own technical capability to produce images sharp in focus and rich in detail.”

“The term generally refers to photographs that are not manipulated, either in the taking of the image or by darkroom or digital processes, but sharply depict the scene or subject as the camera sees it,” the website said.

Illustrated nearby is the Postal Service’s preliminary artwork for the Ansel Adams pane. The stamps are arranged in four rows of four stamps each. The unadorned wide top selvage (margin paper) shows Adams’ name in large white sans serif letters with “photographer, 1902-1984” in much smaller type below his name.

The stamps in the first row (left to right) illustrate Half Dome, Merced River, Winter, Yosemite National Park, California (1938); Oak Tree, Sunset City, Sierra Foothills, California (1962); Thundercloud, Ellery Lake, High Sierra, Sierra Nevada, California (1934); and Denali and Wonder Lake, Denali National Park, Alaska (1947).

Shown on the stamps in the second row (left to right) are The Golden Gate and Bridge from Baker Beach, San Francisco, California (c.1953); Road and Fog, Del Monte Forest, Pebble Beach, California (1964); Rock and Grass, Moraine Lake, Sequoia National Park, California (1936); and Leaves, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington (c.1942).

Stamps in the third row (left to right) showcase Monument Valley, Arizona (1958); Tetons and Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (1942); Jeffrey Pine, Sentinel Dome, Yosemite National Park, California (1940); and Mirror Lake, Mount Watkins, Spring, Yosemite National Park, California (1935).

Featured on the stamps in the fourth row (left to right) are Maroon Bells, near Aspen, Colorado (1951); Aspens, Dawn, Autumn, Dolores River Canyon, Colorado (1937); Road After Rain, Northern California (1960); and Dunes, Oceano, California (1963).

Banknote Corporation of America printed 20 million Ansel Adams stamps that were finished into panes of 16 for sale at post offices and other USPS-authorized locations.

Uncut press sheets of nine panes of 16 with and without die cuts will also be available for purchase from Stamp Fulfillment Services in Kansas City, Mo. A press sheet will sell for $97.92, the face value of the 144 stamps.

Postal Service art director Derry Noyes collaborated with the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust and the USPS to select the 16 photos that appear on the stamps.

“I narrowed it down to horizontal formats, with a variety of different kinds of landscapes from all over the country,” Noyes told Linn’s.

“Some of his photographs worked particularly well at stamp size, others not so much,” she said. “It’s a juggling act to get the right combination of images that work well together and as [single stamps] when detached from the pane.”

During the design process, Noyes developed a great appreciation for …

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