World Stamps

United Nations to mark World Art Day April 15 with six stamps

Mar 28, 2023, 8 AM
In celebration of World Art Day on April 15, the United Nations Postal Administration will issue six stamps in panes of 12. The designs feature artwork from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) art collection.

By David Hartwig

The United Nations Postal Administration will issue six stamps April 15 in celebration of World Art Day.

“Each year, on 15 April, World Art Day celebrations help reinforce the links between artistic creations and society, encourage greater awareness of the diversity of artistic expressions and highlight the contribution of artists to sustainable development,” the United Nations Postal Administration said in its Fascination bulletin for collectors.

The stamps will be issued in six panes of 12, with a single denomination and design for each pane. The designs feature artwork from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) art collection. Each pane includes a description of the artwork and a statement by UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay.

The 63¢ stamp for the post office at U.N. headquarters in New York City depicts Henry Moore’s sculpture Reclining Figure, and the $1.45 stamp shows a wool tapestry by Le Corbusier.

UNESCO commissioned Moore to create a sculpture for the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, inaugurated in 1958. Moore worked in Italy for about a year on the marble sculpture, which had to be transported to Paris in four pieces.

The wool tapestry was executed by the Pinton Freres workshops in Aubusson, a French region known for tapestries. The design, based on a cartoon by Le Corbusier, represents an abstract layout of the buildings at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters.

For the post office at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, the 1.10-franc stamp features Rosa Maria Pujol–Avellana’s painting Soleil eclatant, and Toshihiro Hamano’s sculpture Dove of Peace can be seen on the 2.30fr stamp.

The acrylic-on-canvas painting Soleil eclatant, completed in 1970, entered the UNESCO collection in 1981, a gift from Spain.

Hamano donated Dove of Peace to UNESCO in 2007. The small sculpture (approximately 22 inches by 22 inches by 7 inches) is a miniature version of a sculpture 10 times larger that the one the artist created for the Great Catholic Jubilee in Japan in 2000.

The €1 stamp for the post office at the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria, shows Pablo Picasso’s The fall of Icarus, and the €1.90 stamp features Yves Pede’s The spirits of the ancestors.

Picasso created The fall of Icarus after UNESCO commissioned a mural for the 1958 inauguration of its headquarters. “The mural is made up of forty wooden panels painted in acrylic, covering a surface of almost one hundred square meters,” UNESCO said. “It represents a beach scene, with standing and reclining figures, animated by a figure falling, arms and legs flailing, towards the imposing blue surface of the ocean.”

A self-taught artist from Benin, Pede donated the patchwork The spirits of the ancestors in 1996. UNESCO said that Pede created paintings using sand before developing an interest in textiles and tapestries, drawing inspiration from traditional religious symbols and gods.

Sergio Baradat of the United Nations used examples from the UNESCO art collection in designing the stamps. The stamps measure 50 millimeters by 35mm each, and the panes are 220mm by 180mm.

Cartor Security Printing of France printed the panes of 12 by offset lithography in the following quantities: 9,000 panes each of the 63¢, $1.45, 1.10fr and 2.30fr stamps; and 10,000 panes of the €1 and €1.90 stamps.

For ordering information for the new World Art Day stamps and related products, visit the UNPA website; email; telephone 212-963-7684 or 800-234-8672; or write to UNPA, Box 5900, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163-5900.

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