skip to Main Content
Gary Kelley
Voices of the Harlem Renaissance
Medium: Digital

The assignment was to create a pane of U.S. postage stamps to honor the Harlem Renaissance, one of the great artistic and literary movements in American history. Four literary figures were chosen to highlight diverse facets of the Harlem Renaissance: writer, philosopher, educator, and arts advocate Alain Locke; novelist Nella Larsen; bibliophile and historian Arturo Alfonso; Schomburg and poet Anne Spencer. The concept was to not only honor them as individuals but also capture the spirit and aesthetic of the movement. The stamps feature stylized pastel portraits of the four honorees based on historic photographs. The artist created each piece of art by first sketching in pencil on translucent paper. He then moved to pastel pencil on paper to make the final designs. Each stamp incorporates African-inspired motifs as background elements. These design elements reflect the increased interest in African culture, history, and aesthetics shown by the writers and artists of the Harlem Renaissance.

Client: United States Postal Service
Art Director: Greg Breeding
Back To Top