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American Artist Mary Cassatt Celebrated with Postage Stamp; Third in American Treasures Series.

WASHINGTON, July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Known for her engaging portraits of mothers and children, American artist Mary Cassatt will be honored by the U.S. Postal Service on four new commemorative stamps that will be issued August 7 at the American Philatelic Society's STAMPSHOW 2003 in Columbus, Ohio.

The APS STAMPSHOW, held in conjunction with the Postal Service, is the nation's largest annual postage stamp event. More than 165 dealers from the United States and abroad will participate in the four-day show.

Third in the American Treasures Series, the Mary Cassatt stamps will be dedicated at a first day of issue ceremony to take place at 12 noon (ET) in Ballroom 4 of the Columbus Convention Center, 400 N. High Street. The stamps will be available at the event and at Columbus post offices starting that day. They will be available at post offices nationwide beginning August 8.

"These stamps feature touching portraits by one of America's most beloved and popular artists," said Mary Anne Gibbons, General Counsel and Vice President, U.S. Postal Service, who will dedicate the stamps. "These miniature paintings will grace millions of envelopes reminding everyone that stamps are part of American history and teach us to appreciate our culture and heritage."

Cassatt was the only American ever invited to exhibit with the French Impressionists. The four works of art appearing on the stamps are:
 "Young Mother", 1888, The Art Institute of Chicago
 "Children Playing on the Beach", 1884, National Gallery of Art,
 Washington, D.C.
 "On a Balcony", 1878/79, The Art Institute of Chicago
 "Child in a Straw Hat", circa 1886, National Gallery of Art, Washington,

Mary Stevenson Cassatt was born on May 22, 1844, in Allegheny City (now part of Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania. She attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia and continued her studies in Europe, settling permanently in Paris in the mid-1870s. In 1877, at the invitation of Edgar Degas, who became her friend and mentor, Cassatt joined the circle of revolutionary French painters who became known as the Impressionists.

Recurring themes in Cassatt's paintings, pastels, prints and etchings include children engaging in various pastimes and contemporary women pursuing everyday activities such as entertaining visitors, reading and caring for children. Paying careful attention to naturalistic pose and gesture, she developed a vigorous, innovative style and rendered her domestic subjects with a refreshingly unsentimental intimacy. By the end of the 19th century Cassatt was recognized as a preeminent artist in both France and the United States. She died in France on June 14, 1926.

The Postal Service has twice paid tribute to Cassatt herself. The first stamp to honor her was issued in 1966 and featured her painting "The Boating Party", 1894. The second stamp, featuring a portrait of Cassatt, was issued in 1988 as part of the Great Americans series. Her painting "Breakfast in Bed", 1897, was included on the Four Centuries of American Art stamp pane, which was issued in 1998.

Inaugurated in 2001 with the Amish Quilts stamp pane, the American Treasures series is intended to showcase beautiful works of American fine art and crafts. The 2002 issuance featured artwork by John James Audubon.

"Young Mother" is a pastel on tan wove paper; the other three paintings are oils on canvas. The four designs are repeated five times each on this pane of twenty stamps. Derry Noyes was the art director and designer for these stamps.

To see the Mary Cassatt stamps, locate the online version of this press release at Current U.S. stamps and philatelic products, as well as the free USA Philatelic catalog, are available by calling toll free 1 800 STAMP-24. A selection of U.S. stamps and gift items are also available online at the Postal Store at Images of many current, past and future stamp issues can be found in the Stamp Issues section of the Collector's Corner.

Since 1775, the U.S. Postal Service has connected friends, families, neighbors and businesses by mail. It is an independent federal agency that visits 141 million homes and businesses every day and is the only service provider to deliver to every address in the nation. The Postal Service receives no taxpayer dollars for routine operations, but derives its operating revenues solely from the sale of postage, products and services. With annual revenues of more than $66 billion, it is the world's leading provider of mailing and delivery services, offering some of the most affordable postage rates in the world. The U.S. Postal Service delivers more than 43 percent of the world's mail volume -- some 203 billion letters, advertisements, magazines, newspapers and packages a year -- and serves 7 million customers each day at its 38,000 retail locations nationwide.
 Issue: Mary Cassatt
 Item Number: 671900
 Denomination & Type of Issue: 37-cent commemorative
 Format: Double Sided Convertible Booklet of 20 (4 designs)
 Series: American Treasures
 Issue Date & City: August 7, 2003, Columbus, OH 43216
 Designer: Derry Noyes, Washington, DC
 Art Director: Derry Noyes, Washington, DC
 Typographer: Derry Noyes, Washington, DC
 Existing Art By: Mary Cassatt
 Modeler: Donald H. Woo
 Manufacturing Process: Gravure
 Printer: Sennett Security Products (SSP)
 Printed at: American Packaging Corporation, Columbus, WI
 Press Type: Rotomek, 3000
 Stamps per Book: 20
 Print Quantity: 778.8 million stamps
 Paper Type: Pre-phosphored, Type I
 Adhesive Type: Pressure sensitive
 Processed at: Unique Binders, Fredericksburg, VA
 Colors: Magenta, Yellow, Cyan, Black, Line Red
 Stamp Orientation: Vertical
 Image Area (w x h): 0.84 x 1.41 in./46.73 x 35.81 mm
 Overall Size (w x h): 0.99 x 1.56 in./25.14 x 39.62 mm
 Booklet Size (w x h) : 1.98 x 9.750 in /50.29 x 247.65 mm
 Plate Size: 168 stamps per revolution
 Plate Numbers: "S" followed by five (5) single digits
 Marginal Markings: "(C) 2002 USPS" . Plate Numbers . "Peel here to fold"
 Catalog Item Number(s): 671940 Double Side PSA Booklet of 20 - $7.40
 671963 First Day Cover Block of 4 - $3.00

Customers have 30 days to obtain the first day of issue postmark by mail. They may purchase the new stamps at their local post office, affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to: MARY CASSATT COMMEMORATIVE POSTAGE STAMPS, POSTMASTER, 850 TWIN RIVERS DRIVE COLUMBUS, OHIO 43216-9991. After applying the first day of issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by Sept. 7, 2003.

Stamp Fulfillment Services also offers first day covers for new stamp issues and postal stationery items postmarked with the official first day of issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog. Customers may request a free catalog by writing to: INFORMATION FULFILLMENT, DEPT 6270, US POSTAL SERVICE, PO BOX 219014, KANSAS CITY MO 64121-9014, or by calling 1 800 STAMP-24.

First day covers remain on sale for at least one year after the stamp's issuance.

CONTACT: Cathy Yarosky, +1-202-268-2126, or Ray Jacobs, +1-740-653-9069, both of the U.S. Postal Service

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Date:Jul 8, 2003
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