Christie’s Auction House has announced the private sale of an original painting by longtime stamp designer, Stevan Dohanos. The painting, Stamp Collecting, is available to purchase through Christie's by request.
Stamp Collecting was painted in 1954 and was featured on the February 27th cover of the Saturday Evening Post of that same year. It depicts two collectors inspecting and assembling their albums. The painting was previously part of a private collection for more than 50 years, until it was gifted to its current seller in 2018.
Dohanos was in familiar territory with Stamp Collecting, as not only did he design 123 covers in total for the Saturday Evening Post, but he also designed over 40 stamps for the United States Postal Service.
Behind the Painting
Born in 1907, Dohanos worked in advertising until his first successful submission to the Saturday Evening Post in 1942. Creating as many as a dozen cover paintings for the magazine each year, he also had the opportunity to work alongside his early inspiration, Norman Rockwell. He then transitioned careers into stamp design, becoming the Chairman of the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee, overseeing the design of over 300 stamps, including his own designs.
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NATO 10-year Anniversary, 1959.
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John F. Kennedy, 1967. Part of the Prominent Americans series.
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American Flag Commemorative Stamp, 1960. Created in honor of Hawaii's new statehood from the previous year.
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Food For Peace-Freedom From Hunger, 1963. Day of issue coincided with the U.S. hosting that year's World Food Congress.
Dohanos produced quite a few notable designs himself, like the 4¢ NATO issue of 1959, commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the treaty. He also designed stamps including the addition of Alaska and Hawaii as states, on separate occassions. He died in 1994.
Stevan Dohanos' work continues to live on - not only in the stamps and magazine covers that he designed, but in major art institutions like the Whitney Museum, The Cleveland Museum and The New Britian Museum of American Art. His legacy leaves behind depictions of not just stamp collecting, but a depiction of life in the United States in the post-World War II era.