Tuesday, July 08, 2008

USPS featuring Josephine Baker
in new stamp series

An image of Josephine Baker is part of a new series of stamps honoring Vintage Black Cinema being issued this month by the United States Postal Service. The Baker stamp (pictured) features a reproduction of the poster artwork for the 1935 movie Princess Tam-Tam, one of four feature films to star the St. Louis native.

All five stamps in the series are based on vintage movie posters. The USPS' news release says, "Whether spotlighting the talents of entertainment icons or documenting changing social attitudes and expectations, these posters now serve a greater purpose than publicity and promotion. They are invaluable pieces of history, preserving memories of cultural phenomena that otherwise might have been forgotten."

To mark the occasion in Baker's hometown, the USPS and The Sheldon are holding a First Day of Sale Event at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 16 at the The Sheldon Concert Hall and Art Galleries, 3648 Washington Blvd. Admission is free.

The Sheldon Art Galleries presented a major exhibition devoted to Baker's life and work in 2006, the 100th anniversary of her birth. The Sheldon's email didn't specify exactly what will take place at the July 16 event, but presumably there will be some sort of ceremony; plus the opportunity to purchase first-day issues of the stamp, which usually are of interest to collectors.

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