By Jessica Kartalija

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Celebrating the work of a great African-American artist. The U.S. Postal Service is unveiling a little piece of history. And you can own one for just 45 cents.

Jessica Kartalija reports there’s a whole lot of pomp for postage at Morgan State University.

“They are our nation’s calling card.  They celebrate our culture, remind us of our history, help us appreciate heritage.  Stamps really reflect America,” said Ronald Stroman, deputy postmaster general.

It’s the dedication of a stamp celebrating the work of William H. Johnson, an African-American artist. The Forever stamp is a picture of an oil-on-plywood painting with a vase of bright flowers on a small red table.

“We hope this stamp will encourage more Americans to learn about Johnson and his life story,” Stroman said.

The flowers in the painting symbolize love, devotion and friendship. Several guests bought the postage to commemorate its unveiling.

“Johnson’s work is indicative of the African-American aesthetic as an American modern statement.  It’s a perfectly beautiful time for us in this country to be saying ‘Yes, this an American art treasure,’” said Marquette Folley, Smithsonian Institution.

Jacob Lawrence, James Van Der Zee and Romare Bearden are other African-American artists featured on stamps.


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