Okay, Harry Potter stamps, your time is up. As cute as you are (stop looking at us like that, pint-sized Daniel Radcliffe!), you are quintessentially British, and the last time Britain messed with our stamps, it incited a Revolution (well, partly anyway). We want quintessential American images on our postage!
But we needn’t fear: The U.S. Post Office’s newest Forever® stamps — which currently cost $0.49 each — feature just such imagery. The postage pays homage to the Hudson River School, the 19th-century artistic movement that glorified American landscape.
One of the four stamps, issued for the first time on August 21 as part of the “American Treasure” series, features work by Thomas Cole, who is regarded as the founder of the movement and was greatly influenced by our river and the Catskill Mountains. Asher B. Durand, Thomas Moran, and Frederic Edwin Church, who all painted in the Hudson River School tradition, created the other paintings that appear on the stamps.
The Olana Partnership, which operates Chruch’s Persian-style home in Hudson, celebrates the new additions by reviving the art of letter writing. Olana Partnership Director of Education, Amy Hufnagel, mans a table at the Hudson Post Office from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Anyone who wishes is invited to join her in penning a masterpiece, either on paper or a postcard, to a loved one or friend — and then receives a free Hudson River School stamp to send it off. Special commemorative cancellation stamps (which increases the value) are also available.
The same table will be set up on Saturday, August 23, on Olana’s east lawn from 1-4 p.m. where envelopes and postcards are pre-cancelled. Missed out on all the fun? The Hudson River School Stamps are also available for purchase in Olana’s museum gift shop.
What: Letter Writing with the New Hudson River School Stamp
When: Thursday, August 21 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and Saturday, August 23 from 1-4 p.m.
Where: U.S. Post Office, 402 Union St., Hudson (Thursday); Olana State Historic Site, Rte. 9G, Hudson (Saturday)
Details: 518-828-0135; www.olana.org