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Review of 2001 state duck stamps: highs and lows
|In this month's column, it is my pleasure to review all of the state duck stamps that were issued in 2001.
Lest anyone take my comments too seriously, please understand that I am not an artist, and the opinions expressed here are mine alone.
A total of 43 states issued duck stamps in 2001, same as in 2000.
Once again, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah and West Virginia did not release stamps last year.
I have not seen duck stamps from Kansas, New York and Oregon, but I understand stamps from these states will be issued at some point.
The following 2001 state duck stamps feature artwork by individuals (name in parentheses) whose efforts also have appeared on a federal duck stamp: Maryland (Wil Gobel), Washington (Adam Grimm), Minnesota (Bob Hautman), New Jersey (Hautman), Arkansas (David Maass), New York (Bruce Miller), California (Bob Steiner) and Oregon (Steiner).
Figure 1. The 2001 Arkansas duck stamp, featuring David Maass' artwork.
Four artists were responsible for more than one state duck stamp in 2001. They are Jeffrey Klinefelter, with three stamps (Indiana, Nevada and South Carolina); Brian Blight, with two (Delaware and Ohio); Bob Hautman, with two (Minnesota and New Jersey); and Bob Steiner, with two (California and Oregon).
The North Carolina and Rhode Island stamps depict lighthouses.
Only the Illinois duck stamp, illustrated in Figure 2, depicts a dog as the central design image. A dog also appears on the South Carolina stamp.
Figure 2. The central image of the 2001 Illinois duck stamp is a yellow Labrador dog.
Of the six states that did not issue duck stamps in 2001, Georgia, Missouri and Nebraska each might want to reconsider its decision.
These three states are hotbeds of duck-hunting activity, which means potentially high sales of duck stamps. Poorly executed stamp programs that result in sluggish stamp sales should be improved, not abolished.
It is a shame that officials in these states trashed their stamp programs in favor of using point-of-sale receipts.
Georgia, Missouri and Nebraska, therefore, each merit my award for killing the golden goose of income-generating duck stamp sales.
The greatest state for producing top-notch duck stamp artists is unquestionably Minnesota.
Unfortunately, well-executed printing is equally as important as the artwork for the stamp.
The 2001 Minnesota duck stamp, by two-time federal duck stamp artist Bob Hautman, was mauled during the printing process. It garners my 2001 poor-printing award.
As can be seen in Figure 3, the design of the Minnesota stamp is blurry, and the white lettering across the bottom of the stamp is barely legible. Apparently, a computer-generated image with improper detail registration was used.
Figure 3. Minnesota's 2001 duck stamp receives the author's poor-printing award.
Shape up Minnesota: a disservice was done to great artwork with this shoddily printed stamp.
The Illinois duck stamp, illustrated in Figure 2, is a runner-up for a poor-printing award, with its weak rendition of Jim Killen's marvelous yellow lab and pintails.
The priceless stamp award once again goes to Iowa, for intentionally omitting the face value on its 2001 stamp, shown in Figure 4. Iowa duck stamp sells for $5.50, so why not put the face value on the stamp?
Figure 4. The denomination of the 2001 Iowa duck stamp does not appear in the design. The stamp has a face value of $5.50.
Michigan gets my so-what award for printing "Not a Hunting License" on its 2001 stamp, shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5. "Not A Hunting License" is lettered across the bottom of the 2001 Michigan duck stamp. The author believes this statement is obvious and unnecessary.
Sure, it's not a hunting license, a fishing stamp or anything else but a duck stamp. It surprises me that Michigan must tell its hunters what its duck stamp is not.
My annual (but not-so-highly coveted) chamber-of-commerce award, for displaying sightseeing objects on a duck stamp, goes to Rhode Island.
The stamp depicts the Rose Island lighthouse, the Pell Bridge in Narragansett Bay and an assortment of fishing boats. The lighthouse also operates as a museum and guesthouse.
The artwork - depicting a mallard and two black ducks - is excellent. However, there is too much clutter in the background.
It was very difficult to pick what I felt was the worst state duck stamp of 2001. Perhaps I should call it instead my least-favorite stamp of 2001.
In any case, my award for the worst state duck stamp of 2001 goes to Louisiana, for its $25 nonresident stamp, shown in Figure 6.
Figure 6. The author wasn't impressed by the artwork on the 2001 Louisiana duck stamp.
The artwork looks unbalanced. The shoveler drake looks out of proportion to the rest of the scene, and the shoveler hen sits too high in the water.
In addition, the $25 nonresident cost per stamp is the highest of any state. Louisiana residents pay only $5.50 for a duck stamp.
I guess Louisiana doesn't want anybody but natives shooting its ducks. I don't think the high price was a factor in my selection, but I hope it wasn't.
Kansas is a permanent runner-up for worst-designed stamp, for using the same design since 1997.
My choice for the best state duck stamp of 2001, shown in Figure 1, goes to Arkansas and artist David Maass for his painting of canvasbacks landing.
The rain-laden clouds in the background and slight ripple to the water are completely natural for the scene. The wind is pushing the big birds back, virtually suspending them in mid-air as they attempt to land. I love this stamp.
All 2001 state duck stamps are presented in the nearby table. Arranged alphabetically by state, the table lists the duck species (or other prominent objects) shown on each stamp, along with the artist.
As for duck species representation on 2001 state duck stamps, the mallard bested all others, with six appearances. Nine different ducks appeared on one stamp each. This tally of duck species also is summarized in a nearby table.
|2001 State Duck Stamps|
|Alabama||Ruddy duck||H. Andrew McNeely|
|Alaska||American wigeon||Greg Alexander|
|Arizona||Redhead||Sherrie Russell Meline|
|Colorado||Ruddy duck||Cynthie Fisher|
|Florida||Canvasback||John Nelson Harris|
|Georgia||NO STAMP|| |
|Hawaii||Green pheasant||Daniel Wang|
|Idaho||NO STAMP|| |
|Illinois||Pintail / yellow lab||Jim Killen|
|Indiana||Hooded merganser||Jeffrey Klinefelter|
|Iowa||Snow goose||Darren Maurer|
|Kentucky ||Mallard||Harold Roe|
|Maine||Wood duck||Jeannine Staples|
|Massachusetts||Black duck||Barry Julius|
|Michigan||Ruddy duck||Kim Diment|
|Minnesota||Black duck||Bob Hautman|
|Mississippi||Gadwall||Joe Mac Hudspeth, Jr.|
|Missouri||NO STAMP|| |
|Montana||Canada goose||Cliff Rossberg|
|Nebraska||NO STAMP|| |
|Nevada||Lesser scaup||Jeffrey Klinefelter|
|New Hampshire||Blue-winged teal||Charles Freeman|
|New Jersey||Tundra swan||Bob Hautman|
|New Mexico||NO STAMP|| |
|New York||Pintail||Bruce Miller|
|North Carolina||Black duck / Price's Creek lghtse.||Ron Louque|
|North Dakota||Canada goose||Phillip Crowe|
|Oklahoma||Canada goose||Daniel Brevick|
|Rhode Island||Mallard / black duck / lighthouse||Keith Mueller|
|South Carolina||Mallard / yel. Lab / decoy||Jeffrey Klinefelter|
|South Dakota||Mallard||Mark Anderson|
|Tennessee||Wood duck||Nick Williamson|
|Texas||Snow goose||John Dearman|
|Utah||NO STAMP|| |
|Virginia||Blue-winged teal||Tim Donovan|
|West Virginia||NO STAMP|| |
|Wisconsin ||Common goldeneye||Les Didier|
|Wyoming||White tailed deer||Brent Todd|
|White tail deer||1|