Date of Issue
October 22, 1980
Series Time Span
Perforation or Dimension
12.5 x 12
Designed by Yvon Laroche.
Frank Charles Hennessey, "Christmas Morning", 1931
Sending Christmas greetings through the mail is now a tradition. Indeed, Sir Henry Cole invented the Christmas card only three years after Sir Rowland Hill organized the first modern post office. In Canada some of the finest cards were produced in 1931. Artist A. Y Jackson had convinced William E. Coutts, the Toronto greeting card magnate, to create a contemporary series of cards in typical Canadian style. Coutts commissioned 26 Canadian artists, including members of the Group of Seven, and paid them $25 for each design. The series was an artistic success, each illustration having been reproduced by the painstaking and expensive silkscreen process. Today collectors treasure these cards, three of which are reproduced on the 1980 Christmas stamps. Frank Charles Hennessey, whose work appears on the 15-cent stamp, was born in Ottawa in 1894. A mainly self-taught artist, he sailed as both artist and assistant naturalist on an Arctic expedition when he was fourteen. In 1921 he was hired by the federal Department of Agriculture to provide detailed illustrations of insects, mammals, and birds. Hennessey loved the Gatineau hills of Quebec, just outside Ottawa, and spent a great deal of his leisure time painting there. His contribution to the greeting card series is called "Christmas Morning" and shows the inhabitants of a Gatineau village streaming into church. The layout design and typography for this stamp issue were done by Yvon Laroche of Montreal.
Canada. Post Office Department. [Postage Stamp Press Release], 1980.
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