Stamp designer Chris Calle will be the speaker for the August 21 APS/APRL Tiffany Dinner in Hartford, Connecticut during StampShow 2014. The Tiffany Dinner recognizes generous donors and helps raise additional funds for the APS and APRL. Previous Tiffany Dinner Speakers (and APS members) include presidential aide Karl Rove, former Postmaster General Benjamin Bailar, and New York Times best-selling author Lawrence Block.
Chris Calle is the designer of more than thirty postage stamps for the United States and hundreds more for entities as diverse as Sweden, the Marshall islands, and the United Nations. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1983 Calle embarked on a career as an illustrator working for advertising agencies and various publications. It was his first stamp design in 1984, a portrait of Harry Truman for the Great Americans series, that began a career in illustration with a very strong emphasis on philatelic artwork.
Chris' U.S. postage stamp work includes many designs in the Great Americans series in the 1980s and 1990s and the two stamps in 1994 celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Moon Landing, jointly designed with his father, Paul Calle, who had designed the iconic First Man on the Moon stamp in 1969. Perhaps Chris' most well-known stamp is the $2.40 Priority Mail stamp of 1989 depicting Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planting the American flag on the Moon's surface. In 2011 this stamp was the one postage stamp voted to represent the United States in the Smithsonian National Postal Museum's International Collectors Exhibit in the new William H. Gross Stamp Gallery.
During those years designing postage stamps he also worked on hundreds of First Day Cover cachet paintings and drawings as a freelance artist working with First Day Cover producer Fleetwood. The subjects he depicted ranged from World War II Generals to Native American Headdresses to the Tropical Fish of Micronesia and a huge variety of subjects in between. Calle continues to work on First Day Cover designs as a hobby now and enjoys watching his young children, Ian and Arianna, as they have become interested in stamp collecting and First Day Cover design. It was only five years ago that Chris joined the ranks of philately as a collector. His main focus is the 1969 First Man on the Moon stamp designed by his father.
Today, following in the path of many artists who enjoyed successful careers as illustrators, Chris is working on paintings and drawings depicting the American West. From a young age his experiences traveling with his artist father and family on frequent research trips throughout the western United States led to a deep interest in the history of the West, the culture, and its people.
"My intention is to explore through my artwork, the vast history of the American West — from the uncharted mountain streams and paths traversed by the mountain men of the fur trade in search of beaver to the lives of the Native Americans of the Plains. "
Calle's engaging portraits of the rugged men of the mountains and the proud Native American tell the story of their lives — the story of the American West.