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If you have never considered buying a few dollars of postage stamps as an investment, or as small art . . . continue reading. You will wish you had a trunk full of these beauties!

O’Keeffe, Georgia (ōkēf’)  1887–1986, American painter

Born Sun Prairie, Wisconsin 1887 ~ told a childhood friend she was going to grow up and be an artist ~ then grew-up and followed her own convictions ~ acquired an adobe home on 3 acres in Abiquiu, New Mexico where her finest work flourished ~ and was faithfully scattered upon her beloved desert floor at age 98 in 1986, to be commemorated a decade later on a US postage stamp.

Visonary American Icon~Woman Artist

Visonary American Icon~Woman Artist

A quick trip to my post office (in 1996) led to an impulse purchase. A commemorative stamp sheet featuring Georgia O’Keeffe had just arrived. Drawn in by lovely words, her bright poppies, the grace of the artists face on the page, I immediately purchased four of the beautiful shrink wrapped pages. Beaming I carted home my treasures. I no longer could covet a new pair of expensive shoes;  I had spent that money on stamps which I never intended to paste onto bill envelopes!

One sheet adorned my desk for several years before being carefully stored away during a remodel. Fortunately, the stamp sheet is complete and sealed in its clear wrap. The other three sheets had also been tucked away in tact, waiting for the month of February to arrive. I planned to use them as ‘Valentines’ for my daughter and two of my girlfriends who would appreciate such an unusual gift. (Now you three can not say I never gave you anything of monetary value!)

Recently I wrote about seeing lovely 85 year old Marta Becket dance in her tiny Amargosa Opera House. While researching driving directions to find Ms. Becket’s Death Valley Junction intersection I noted a link to Georgia O’Keeffe postage stamps pop up. Never collecting stamps before you can imagine my surprise and delight to learn the value of one of my favorite things.

Owning some of these stamps myself caused me to pause and chase down that link:


Expert: Jim Forte – 2/24/2009


Dear Jim, I have a sheet of partially perforated Georgia O’Keeffe 32c 1996 red poppy stamps. The sheet has a quote by the artist above a black and white picture of her. Only one stamp in the lower left is completely perforated. Does it have any value? Thanks for your time. Lani

The size of illustrations is limited in AllExperts, but based on the illustration it appears you have a partially imperforate freak.

This is definitely a premium item. The Scott Postage Stamp Catalog prices an imperforate pair at $135.00. Had the entire sheet been imperforate it would have been priced at $1050.00.

You appear to have five imperf pairs.

Jim Forte

A roundup of Georgia O’Keeffe quotes:

To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage.

I decided to start anew, to strip away what I had been taught.

I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me – shapes and ideas so near to me – so natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn’t occurred to me to put them down.

Anyone who doesn’t feel the crosses simply doesn’t get that country.

I believe I would rather have Stieglitz like something – anything I had done – than anyone else I know.

I had to create an equivalent for what I felt about what I was looking at – not copy it.

It was all so far away – there was quiet and an untouched feel to the country and I could work as I pleased.

Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small it takes time – we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.

I often painted fragments of things because it seemed to make my statement as well as or better than the whole could.

I said to myself, I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me – shapes and ideas so near to me – so natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn’t occurred to me to put them down.

I know now that most people are so closely concerned with themselves that they are not aware of their own individuality, I can see myself, and it has helped me to say what I want to say in paint.

I often lay on that bench looking up into the tree, past the trunk and up into the branches. It was particularly fine at night with the stars above the tree.