Stamp out scourge of women Postage: Each purchase to raise 8 cents for breast cancer research.

July 29, 1998|By Judith Forman | Judith Forman,SUN STAFF

A historic new postage stamp making its debut today in the nation's capital has a familiar return address: the Maryland Institute, College of Art.

The first issue of the U.S. Postal Service's Breast Cancer Postage Stamp will be celebrated today in a White House ceremony with first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and Postmaster General William Henderson serving as hosts. Also on hand will be the stamp's designer, Ethel Kessler, and its illustrator, Whitney Sherman, both 1971 graduates of the institute.

The stamp, featuring an image of Artemis, the hunter goddess of Greek mythology, is designed to raise money for breast cancer research. Called a "semipostal," it is the first of its kind in the United States.

The stamp will be priced at 40 cents -- eight cents more than the regular rate for first-class postage. Proceeds from the additional cost will go to the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Defense, both of which conduct breast cancer research. The sale of all 200 million special stamps would generate $16 million for such research.

Kessler, of Bethesda, who worked to get the congressional mandate for the stamp, is herself a survivor of breast cancer.

Sherman, a Baltimore resident and member of the institute's illustration faculty, said she chose Artemis to represent all women. On the stamp, the goddess has her right hand raised to reach for an arrow, a pose that mimics a woman's during a breast self-examination.

The stamp will be on sale only in Washington today; it goes on sale elsewhere tomorrow. A cover for collectors is available for 30 days.

Pub Date: 7/29/98

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