American art postage stamps

This collection of stamps came out in 1997. At the time, I purchased a matted sheet and it currently is hanging in my kitchen. I really like them and they’ve managed to put together a selection of extremely famous and/or important American art from the last four centuries. Of course, there aren’t any Native artists represented here, although two of the images show depictions by white men of Native Americans. That seems to sum up the mainstream American art world’s attitude towards Native art and artists. They are only interesting when viewed through a lens, when seen as an exotic “other.”

But in 2004 the USPS released this set of stamps featuring Native art. Does this even things out? Not so much. I don’t know if the artists of these pieces are known, but there doesn’t seem to be any need to try and present them as if it would matter. Don’t get me wrong, they are both beautiful sets of stamps, and I’m glad that both were produced. I just can see the differing attitude that the dominant society has toward “American” art versus “Native” art.


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