In recent years, the United States Post Office has produced limited edition stamps featuring important American paintings, including the work of Albert Bierstadt, Winslow Homer, and Edward Hopper. The most recent release in the American Treasures series depicts Hudson River School paintings from major museum collections.
One of the four featured works is Thomas Cole’s Distant View of Niagara Falls from The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Considered the father of the Hudson River School, Cole is remembered for his formative role in the development of American landscape painting. From the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Asher B. Durand’s Summer Afternoon is another work reproduced in stamp form. The Met has an impressive collection of these innovative artists with holdings such as Frederic Edwin Church’s Heart of the Andes and Albert Bierstadt’s The Rocky Mountains, Lander’s Peak, both on display in their new American Wing. Church is also a likely figure for inclusion in the postal set. He was Thomas Cole’s student and a key player in nineteenth-century American painting. His work, Sunset, from the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, is exemplary of the majestic marine scenes he is remembered for. In addition to this important piece, Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute owns the iconic series by Thomas Cole, The Voyage of Life, which is currently touring the United States. The final artwork selected by the post office is Thomas Moran’s Grand Canyon. Moran was renowned for his depictions of the American West, where he traveled extensively to seek inspiration for his magnificent works recalling the sublime. His portrayals helped spur governmental and popular interest in the untouched areas of young America.
Just as these pioneer artists spread knowledge and appreciation of America’s natural wonders over one hundred years ago, we can once again experience and share the glories of our country’s landscape through the stamp reproductions. Along the lines of Art Everywhere US, this is another fun way of connecting our country’s rich artistic history to contemporary mass culture. We Hudson River enthusiasts here at Questroyal certainly love seeing our favorite painters popping up all over the place!