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Remembering Postage Stamp Artist Paul Calle


I came across an amazing New York Times in-depth obituary for the artist, Paul Calle, who worked in a unique medium - the postage stamp. During his more than 40 years as a commercial artist, he created some memorable and imaginative postage stamp designs that deserve to be remembered. He was also an accomplished painter who specialized in themes of the American west.

From the wikipedia entry on Paul Calle:

"Paul Calle (pronounced KAL-ee; March 3, 1928 - December 30, 2010) was an American artist who was best known for the designs he created for postage stamps, including 40 that were released by the United States Postal Service, and others for stamps issued by the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Sweden and the United Nations. The sole artist hired by NASA to cover the Apollo 11 astronauts up close, Calle designed the 10-cent stamp that commemorated the first manned moon landing; it depicted an astronaut stepping onto the moon from the lunar module, with the Earth visible over the moon's horizon.

Calle's 1967 design commemorating astronaut Ed White's making the first American spacewalk, during the 1965 Gemini 4 mission.

In 1962, Calle was among the first group selected to participate in the NASA Art Program. Calle contributed a pair of complementary five-cent stamps issued in 1967 as part of the Accomplishments in Space Commemorative Issue, with the right stamp showing the Gemini 4 space capsule with the Earth's horizon as a backdrop, while the left stamp showed astronaut Ed White making the first American spacewalk. His best-known stamp was designed to mark the first manned moon landing and was issued in September 1969, showing an astronaut stepping out onto the surface of the moon.[1] The Apollo 11 crew carried with them a die proof of Calle's moon-landing stamp, which was hand canceled by the astronauts while on the mission. Calle had been given exclusive access to be with the astronauts on July 16, 1969, while they made their final preparations for the Apollo 11 mission.[1] The sketches he made based on his experiences that day have been displayed at the National Air and Space Museum and at the National Gallery of Art.[4] Together with his son Chris, Calle returned to the subject of space exploration with a pair of stamps issued in 1994 in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and the first manned moon landing.


Calle produced dozens of postage stamp designs, featuring such individuals as Douglas MacArthur and Robert Frost. He also produced Western-themed artworks that have been shown at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, as well as a 1981 stamp honoring Frederic Remington. His depictions of the American West have been included in the collections of the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma and at the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia."

[Note: photos are in the public domain and reposted from the wikipedia]


Original C76 Stamp Sketches - FIRST MAN ON THE MOON - 1969

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nasa, paul calle, postage stamps, space program
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