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NHCC, Postal Service partner for release of holiday stamp

Our Lady of Guápulo Christmas forever stamp. (Courtesy of USPS)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

The U.S. Postal Service is partnering with the National Hispanic Cultural Center for the release of the Our Lady of Guápulo Christmas forever stamp.

A virtual first day of issue ceremony for the stamp will be held on both the Postal Service’s Facebook and Twitter pages at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The event will include remarks from the Postal Service vice president for retail and post office operations, Angela Curtis and the NHCC Art Museum and Visual Arts Program director and chief curator, Tey Marianna Nunn. Entertainment will be provided by NHCC History and Literary Arts Program Director Valerie Martinez and the Harlem School of the Arts.

“About three or four years ago, the USPS contacted us for a food stamp they were doing,” Nunn said. “They remembered us from that. They contacted us about the unveiling of the religious holiday stamp.”

Nunn said the USPS was drawn into the collaboration because of the NHCC’s exhibit “El Perú: Art in the Contemporary Past.”

Designed by Greg Breeding, the stamp features a detail of “Our Lady of Guápulo,” an 18th century oil painting by an unknown artist in Cuzco, Peru, from the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Enrobed in a pyramidal gown speckled with jewels and holding a scepter woven with roses and leaves, a crowned Virgin Mary looks down at a similarly adorned Christ child in her left arm. A red rosary ropes across the center of her dress and down to her right. Our Lady of Guápulo is a local variant of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Extremadura, Spain.

Nunn said the “El Perú” exhibit has many pieces in the Cuzco style.

“One of my favorite elements of the Cuzco style of painting is the baroque attention the artists pay to every detail,” Nunn said. “From the Virgin’s delicate veil to the lace that embellishes both her gown and that of her child, the elaborate patterning and fine painting techniques are simply amazing. Everywhere one looks they can see the mastery of a tiny brush.”

The stamps will also be sold at the gift shop.

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