The Postal Service will celebrate the wholesome bounty of American produce when it releases its Fruits and Vegetables stamps Friday, July 17.
The Forever stamps feature 10 still life paintings of fruit and vegetable arrangements: red and black plums, heirloom and cherry tomatoes, carrots, lemons, blueberries, red and green grapes, lettuces, strawberries, eggplants and figs.
Derry Noyes, a USPS art director, designed the stamps using paintings by Robert Papp, who employed the same classical method that artists have worked with for hundreds of years.
After sketching each subject, Papp transferred the drawing to canvas mounted on hardboard. Working in oil, he underpainted in burnt umber and then added color, slowly building up to the desired opacity and intensity.
Because fresh produce has a relatively short shelf life, Papp also took photographs of his compositions to finish his work.
The Fruits and Vegetables stamps will be available in booklets of 20 at Post Offices and usps.com.
USPS canceled the dedication ceremony for the stamps due to the coronavirus pandemic.