The 1950’s Stamp Collector

The 1950’s Stamp Collector is an abstract collage of stamps from the 1950’s that tells the story of American ideas and values through monochrome color.
1950’s Stamp Collector by Kimba Livesay
Kimba Livesay, 1950’s Stamp Collector, Oil and 1950’s Stamps, 14x14, 2023.

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Close up of collage 1950’s Stamp Collector by Kimba Livesay


Stamp Collecting

When I was a kid, I collected stamps. I particularly liked stamps from other countries because they were far more colorful than the United States stamps. My father-in-law, Bob was also a stamp collector. He collected stamps most of his life and his collection is astonishing. It’s stamps from his collection that I used to create the collage.

1950’s Stamps

All the stamps in this artwork are from the 1950’s. I think each little stamp is a snapshot of history. It tells a visual story for that particular time. 1950’s stamps focus on presidents, American flags, national parks, conservation, justice, and cowboys. For me, the stamps are very much about white men and what they found valuable. The only stamp I could find with female energy was the image of a young girl regarding dental health. 

The Color of Stamps

Just like our country was monochrome so where the stamps. They had not reached the development of full color, so there’s this muted and low-key vibe. The bottom layer of the collage is brown and maroon monochrome stamps. The next layers are different subdued primary colors, blue, green, and red. I found a lot of purple stamps, which is the combination of red and blue. As the decade progresses, we began to see conservation stamps with more vibrant but limited colors.

The Collage

I used a 14 x 14 canvas with a two-tone oil base. Good old Mod Podge to create the layers of stamps. I made sure to allow plenty of drying time between each layer. The collage is sealed with a coat of polyurethane. I really like how this collage turned out and how it tells the collective story of a nation in the 1950’s decade.


1950’s Stamp Collector collage by Kimba Livesay Photo 1
Kimba Livesay, 1950’s Stamp Collector, Photo 1, 2023


1950’s Stamp Collector collage by Kimba Livesay Photo 2
Kimba Livesay, 1950’s Stamp Collector, Photo 2, 2023

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