How Ruth Asawa’s Pioneering Sculptures Ended Up on U.S. Stamps

Ruth Asawa, Untitled (S.452, Hanging Tied-Wire, Five-Branched Form Based on Nature), ca. 1965.© THE ESTATE OF RUTH ASAWA/ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK/COURTESY THE ESTATE OF RUTH ASAWA AND DAVID ZWIRNER

Earlier this month, the United States Post Office issued new stamps featuring artist and educator Ruth Asawa’s airy wire sculptures. Whether because of a new amount of attention being directed at the USPS in light of current events or a revival in interest in Asawa (the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis recently held a major show of her work, and Modern Art Oxford in the U.K. has a forthcoming survey), the stamps have been a hit, both within the art world and beyond. On the occasion of the stamps’ release, ARTnews looked back on the artist’s life and career, from her years at Black Mountain College to some of her public projects and educational initiatives in San Francisco. Below is a guide to major events from Asawa’s childhood and milestones in her practice.

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