Edmonia Lewis Forever stamp Credit: Image courtesy of U.S. Postal Service

The U.S. Postal Service celebrates the life and legacy of Edmonia Lewis, the first African American and Native American sculptor to earn international recognition, as the 45th honoree in the Black Heritage Stamp series during a first-day-of-issue ceremony at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

“Edmonia Lewis was a woman of great courage, talent and perseverance who broke through gender, race and class barriers,” said Dr. Joshua D. Colin, the Postal Service’s chief retail and delivery officer, who served as the dedicating official. “The Postal Service is proud to honor this great American sculptor with a beautiful commemorative Forever stamp.”

Joining Colin to dedicate the stamp were artist Alex Bostic; Stephanie Stebich, director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum; Karen Lemmey, curator of sculpture at the Smithsonian American Art Museum; Lisa Farrington, director of the Howard University Gallery of Art and associate dean for fine arts at the university; and Antonio Alcalá, USPS art director.

“As the holder of the largest collection of Edmonia Lewis’s work, the Smithsonian American Art Museum has a long history of championing this great American sculptor, and we are delighted to host this first-day stamp event in her honor,” Stebich said.

Singer and conductor D.C. Washington sang the national anthem.

The Edmonia Lewis Forever pane of stamps is now available at Post Office locations nationwide. News of the stamps is being shared with the hashtags #Edmonia Lewis and #BlackHeritageStamps.

The Stamp art features a casein-paint portrait of Lewis, based on a photograph by Augustus Marshall made in Boston between 1854 and 1871. Alcalá designed the stamp with art by Alex Bostic.

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