Breast Cancer Research Stamp Celebrates 20 Years

Twenty years ago, in July 1998, the United States Postal Service (USPS) issued the Breast Cancer Research stamp, the first such fundraising stamp of its kind. With an illustration of the mythical “goddess of the hunt” by Illustration Practice M.F.A. Program Director Whitney Sherman ’71 (Photography B.F.A.) and art directed by Ethel Kessler ’71 (Visual Communications), the stamp is the longest running postal issue in U.S. history.

With a dramatic design features the phrases “Fund the Fight” and “Find a Cure," the Breast Cancer Research stamp is priced higher than standard first-class letter rate, with the surplus collected by the USPS for breast cancer research. Sales for the stamp since July 1998 have raised over $86.7 million, with over 1.039 billion stamps sold. Of the proceeds, 70 percent of the net amount has been given to the National Institutes of Health and 30 percent to the Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense.

 Founding director of the M.F.A. in Illustration Practice and co-founder of the M.A. in Illustration at MICA, Sherman is an award-wining illustrator whose clients include Forbes and the New York Times, the Ad Council, and the American Red Cross. Her illustration and design have been exhibited at the Normal Rockwell Museum and Society of Illustrators Gallery of American Illustration. Most recently, she served as associate editor and one of 50 authors on The History of Illustration textbook, a comprehensive analysis of illustration practices throughout history and cultures of the world.

Kessler is president and creative director of Kessler Design Group, Ltd., one of the leading, woman-owned communications firms in the Washington, D.C. metro area. As one of four art directors for the USPS, she has led the design of more than 250 stamps since 1997, including stamps for the Library of Congress, Louise Nevelson, Civil Rights, Alzheimer’s awareness, the Nature of America 12 year series and the Scenic American Landscapes series. She has won over 200 design-related awards, and her work has been acknowledged by Graphis, Communication Arts, and Print.

Breast Cancer Research Stamp

Breast Cancer Research Stamp

Art Director: Ethel Kessler ’71

Whitney Sherman ’71