Make 100 American Art Stamp Albums
The stories of 30 American artists illustrated by 40 of their paintings on U. S. postage stamps. It is both a stamp album and a book.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, February 28 2019 6:00 PM UTC +00:00.
Stretch Goal to $4,000 Announced, see Update #3
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This Make 100 Stamp Album is my tribute to the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. For the last three years I have volunteered there as a docent, leading free tours which are offered twice every day except Christmas. I am a third generation stamp collector, following my father and grandfather. My family also has three generations of artists: my mother, sister and daughter.
This stamp album brings together the stamps and the art with a total of 41 stamps, featuring paintings by 30 American artists and one French artist. They are true "Miniature Works of Art." Help me finish this book and get it printed and published!
I have researched and written 30 short biographies of these artists from Frederic Remington to Andrew Wyeth. They include Winslow Homer, John James Audubon, Charles Russell, John Singleton Copley, Mary Cassatt, Thomas Eakins, John Trumbull, Grandma Moses, William Harnett, Edward Hopper, Thomas Hart Benton, John Sloan, Benjamin West, Charles Peale, Norman Rockwell, Georgia O'Keeffe, Grant Wood, Ammi Phillips and Charles Peale's son, Rembrandt Peale. (see examples below.)
Also included are George Caleb Bingham, Asher B. Durand, Joshua Johnson, George Catlin, Thomas Moran, Alfred Bierstadt, Frederick Edwin Church, Mark Rothko and William H. Johnson. Each artist has had one or more U.S. postage stamps illustrate their paintings. So, for example, Mary Cassatt and Winslow Homer each have three stamps in this Album. Andrew Wyeth, Grant Wood, John James Audubon, Edward Hopper, William Harnett and Alfred Bierstadt each have two. Among the 30 artists are three women and two African-Americans. The artists also span the time period from colonial America to the modern era. The artists are presented in the book in the order that the stamps were issued.
Some of my research took place at the National Postal Museum library in the Third Assistant Postmaster General's files which reveal the origin of stamp designs, correspondence, and reports about stamp production.
The Two Versions of the Book/Stamp Album
The book comes in two versions:
1. A Limited Edition of 100 copies [MAKE 100] will have all the stamps included, mounted carefully by me, the author, has a green cover, and is $45. It also has its own ISBN. The copies will be signed and numbered "1 of 100," "2 of 100," and so forth to "100 of 100." Pledge early and you will receive a lower number. You will also receive an immediate reward (see below).
It took five years to accumulate the many sheets of stamps for this project. The cost of the stamps alone is at least $25 per book. Additional costs include printing, stamp mounts, and my labor in mounting the stamps. Forty-five dollars is as low as I can go for these books. The stamps are beautiful and illustrate the text very well.
When these one hundred Limited Edition Stamp Albums are gone, they are gone, and will not be reprinted.
2. The Basic Stamp Album at the $18 level will have the first three stamps mounted with rectangles indicating where the other 38 stamps are to be attached, along with instructions about which stamp mounts to use. The best place to find these 38 missing stamps is on eBay or at stamp shows. Sixteen of the 38 stamps you need are from one sheet of 20 stamps issued in 1998 and easily available.
The cover of this book is blue. You can also pledge to receive the Basic Stamp Album along with the stamp mounts you need, and a pair of stamp tongs (the same kind I use) as a "do-it-yourself" version for $28. The Basic Stamp Album version will be reprinted but will not contain more than the first three stamps.
Here are the pages on Grant Wood and the stamp showing his painting, Young Corn, to show what the Limited Edition Stamp Album looks like with the stamps mounted. The stamp mount provides a very nice black frame around the stamp. The painting Young Corn is also on the cover of this book. It is in the public domain.
Here are the pages on Georgia O'Keeffe and her painting Red Poppy, 1927, which was used on a stamp in 1996, to show what the Basic Stamp Album looks like. The space for the stamp indicated with a rectangle helps you align the stamp mount but will be completely covered by the stamp.
The spiral binding of the book allows the book to lay flat while you are mounting your stamps. The challenge of the Basic Stamp Album is finding the other 38 stamps to complete the book.
Sixteen of the 40 American paintings stamps in the stamp albums are from this sheet, "Four Centuries of American Art," which was issued in 1998.
This is a plate block containing the four stamps in the corner of a sheet with the printing plate number or numbers illustrating Mary Cassatt's painting, The Boating Party. Extra pages are provided in the album for plate blocks and first day covers in both versions of the book. (Mounts are not provided.)
Here is an example of a first day of issue cover, "The Westwood Children," painted by African-American artist, Joshua Johnson.
Receive an Immediate "Make 100" Reward at $45 Level!
In the spirit of the "Make 100" campaigns I am creating 100 Postal Museum Tribute certificates that will be sent to the 100 backers who pledge for the Limited Edition Stamp Album at the $45 level. Follow these simple steps:
1. Pledge for the Limited Edition $45 Stamp Album,
2. Answer my thank you email (not the Kickstarter email) with your name and address, and I will send you the certificate!
The earlier you pledge, the lower number you will receive on the Tribute certificate. The number on the certificate will match the number on your book, but not necessarily your "backer number" as some people may pledge for two books.
And when they are gone, they are gone! NOTE: International backers will receive their certificate at the same time as their Limited Edition Stamp Album, due to the high cost of international postage.
With this certificate (shown below) I am honoring the French Postal Museum, the Musee de la Poste in Paris. It includes the 1966 stamp, The Newborn, by Georges de la Tour and a progressive proof of the same stamp that was issued to raise funds for the museum. I had the opportunity to visit this postal museum twice, in 1988 and again in 2010. C'est magnifique!
The certificate is printed on Paper Source 80 pound sage card stock and is 8 1/2" by 5 1/2". It comes with a matching sage (Paper Source) A9 envelope. The certificate will be mailed first-class in a 7" by 9" rigid kraft mailer so it should reach you in mint condition.
Grandma Moses called this painting "July Fourth" and it is owned by the White House.
Join the Railway Station Press Founders Club
My publishing company, Railway Station Press, publishes three nonfiction books a year. This will be my 7th book, all initially funded through Kickstarter campaigns. There still are a few Founders Club, 5-year memberships left. If you join you will receive the six books published in 2017 and 2018 (signed and numbered First Editions), and all of the quarterly packets to bring you up to date.
Membership lasts through the end of 2021. You will also receive the Basic Stamp Album when it is available. The Founders Club is limited to 50 members only. It is an incredibly good deal, 15 books and quarterly packets with many extras and surprises for a one time payment of $100. The packets are sent in January, April, July and October of each year. These memberships are only available to United States addresses because of the high cost of international mail.
Risks and challenges
I have completed successful nonfiction book Kickstarter projects in the last couple of years using the same book printer. I do not launch a Kickstarter project until a book is 90% ready for publication, so I do not expect any delays in the distribution of rewards. The book is currently in its final editing phase, and I expect that it will be ready for publication later in January.
The new challenge with the Make 100 Limited Stamp Album is the time it will take to carefully mount 41 stamps in each book. This explains why I have given May 2019 as the fulfillment date for the book/stamp albums with many rewards sent out in advance.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter