Washington, DC: 1936-40. Single sheet, signed by Adelaide Johnson below three cent stamp with image of Susan B. Anthony based on Johnson's marble bust of the suffrage leader, with the following text, "Two hundred and twenty five millions / - 225 000 000 - / of the above picture of my marble portrait / Susan B. Anthony / Issued by the Government are - with their message - / now make their way over the world./ " In top left and right corners respectively the artist has written "We Quest Far" and "1936-1940." In the lower left and right corners respectively, she has written, "Only Stamp from the Work of a Living Artist" and "Studio / 230 Maryland Ave. N.E. Washington, D.C."
Adelaide Johnson (1855-1959) was born in Illinois and attended the St. Louis School of Design. She was awarded first and second prize at a state exposition in competition with professional woodcarvers in 1877. In 1883, Johnson studied painting in Dresden, moving to Rome in 1884 to become a student of Guile Montverde. She maintained a studio in Rome for the next twenty-five years, at various times in her career Johnson had studios in Carrara, London, New York, Chicago and Washington. Eventually she became the sculptor of the monument that honors the woman's movement that stands in the United States Capitol.
Adelaide Johnson developed a feminist perspective early in her life; she perceived feminism as the greatest revolutionary force in history and "the mightiest thing in the evolution of humanity." She saw it as her mission to record and immortalize the history of the movement. She began this life work by exhibiting busts of suffragists Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony, and of the pioneer physician Caroline B. Winslow, at the Woman's Pavilion of the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.
Through New York suffragist Alva Belmont of the National Woman's Party, she secured a commission for a national monument for the Capitol Building that was the first statue to women, by a woman, for women's service to women. Her seven-ton sculpture of white Carrara marble, "The Woman Movement," contained portrait busts of Mott, Stanton, and Anthony . It was presented to the nation on behalf of American women by the National Woman's Party for Anthony's birthday, February 15th, 1921. The reception for Johnson was the first ever given for a woman in the Capitol building. NAW, The Modern Period, pp. 380-381. Fairman, Art and Artists of the Capitol of the United States. A Biography Index of American Artists. Smith, Life in Marble-Speech in Silence: Adelaide Johnson and Her Work. Harper, Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, Vol. II, pp. 677, 713-722. Item #9123