Wednesday, March 31, 2010

William S. Hart postage stamp to be unveiled April 17 in Newhall

On April 17, 2010, the United States Postal Service (USPS) will release a series of four stamps, Cowboys of the Silver Screen. Of the four commemorative stamps, William S. Hart will be memorialized along with three other celebrated Western film stars: Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and Tom Mix.

In celebration of the stamp release and Hart’s legacy, a special ceremony will be held at the William S. Hart Park and Museum on April 17 to unveil the Hart Stamp. Following the unveiling ceremony, special family activities, music and tours unfold throughout the day. For devoted philatelists, first-day-of-sale stamp purchases and cancellations of the entire Cowboys of the Silver Screen series will be available courtesy of the USPS.

Hart was one of the most popular leading men of the silent film era, unique for his powerful presence and serious approach to early Westerns. His acting skills were honed by years of experience on the New York stage and theaters all over the country, and in his movies, the actor insisted on authentic depictions of the Old West and its people, from their clothes to their lifestyles and complex personalities. He frequently played a stalwart, tough-as-nails cowboy, with a soft spot for his favorite horse — a brown and white pinto named Fritz.

The Cowboys of the Silver Screen stamp art is by freelance illustrator Robert Rodriguez, whose work has been featured on more than a dozen previous stamps. Rodriguez based his portrait of William S. Hart on a likeness of the actor that appeared on a poster for the 1925 film Tumbleweeds.

The Hart Museum, located in Newhall, California, is part of the Natural History Family of Museums. This event is a joint effort by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, Friends of Hart Park, and the United States Postal Service.

Hart Postage Stamp Unveiling Ceremony and Events
Saturday, April 17, 2010

10:00 am – Stamp Ceremony
Join us for the official unveiling of the new William S. Hart Stamp at Hart Park and Museum! Cowboys of the Silver Screen stamps and cancellations will be available immediately after the ceremony. Early Sale of the Stamp set will be available beginning at 9:00 am.

11:00 am through 3:30 pm – Guided Museum Tours
Take a tour of William S. Hart’s 22-room mansion which includes a magnificent collection of Western artwork, Native American baskets and film memorabilia including costumes and props from Hart’s final film, Tumbleweeds, from which Hart’s stamp likeness is taken. Tours of the Hart Museum are always free, and begin every half hour.

11:30 am and 2:30 pm – Music in the Park with the Silver Screen Cowboy Project
Listen to the original music of the Silver Screen Cowboy Project in Hart Hall! Take a trip back to the time of Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, the Lone Ranger, and John Wayne through music and multi-media.
Admission: Adults $1.00; Children $0.25

12:30 pm and 1:30 pm – Animal Barnyard Tours
Hart Park’s Animal Barnyard is home to 45 animals including ducks, horses, deer, and a mule. Admission is free. Stop by the Friends of Hart Park Gift Store and purchase animal feed so you can feed the animals!

1:00 pm through 4:00 pm – Children’s Activities
Yee-ha! Visit the Hart Ranch House to learn about a day in the life of a cowboy and participate in crafts and activities. All children are welcome and must be accompanied by a parent. Admission is free.

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