Sunday, November 26, 2017

1982 first day cover: "Exploration for Peaceful Uses of Outer Space"

Here's a cacheted first day cover (aka "illustrated envelope") with some wonderful artwork by Ramon de Olivera of Puerto Rico and an equally wonderful message: Exploration et Utilisations Pacifiques de L'Espace Extra-Atmosphérique, or Exploration for Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

(Goober-level editing note: The correct English-language name of the conference is "Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space," so it's a minor error that the FDC text states "Exploration for Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.")

Dated June 11, 1982, the FDC features four different United Nations stamps and was produced by the World Federation of United Nations Associations, which you could say is a booster or service club for the UN.

A May 23, 1982, article in The New York Times discusses both the conference and the commemorative stamps. Here are some excerpts:
As space becomes ever more usable and explorable, the United Nations is keeping pace with periodic issues for the changing circumstances of outer space. On June 11 the U.N. is putting out a new issue of four commemoratives on "Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space." ...

The stamps herald the second U.N. conference on the subject, which is taking place in August at the Hofburg Palace in the Austrian capital of Vienna, a quarter of a century after the launching of the first Soviet sputnik into space.

The purpose of the conference is to examine the tremendous advances in space technology and its applications since the first U.N. conference 14 years ago, to explore means of making the benefits to be derived from space more widely available, and to intensify international cooperation in space developments.

The four new commemoratives consist of a 20-cent stamp to be used at the organization's headquarters in New York, an 80-centime stamp and a 1-franc stamp in Swiss currency to be used by the U.N.'s European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and a 5-schilling stamp in Austrian currency to be used at auxiliary office of the U.N. at Vienna.

The United States equivalent of the Swiss values is 45 and 57 cents, of the Austrian value 33 cents, subject to exchange rate fluctuation.

An olive branch in the darkness of space, in orbit around a planetlike U.N. emblem, forms the design of the 20-cent and 80-centime stamps. Wiktor C. Nerwinski of Poland was the designer. The 1-franc and 5-schilling stamps, in five colors on a white background, have a backdrop of a satellite in outer space gathering information and five applications of space technology illustrated in the foreground in a row of circles. In the circles are symbols of weather, television, telephone, food and power. The design is the work of George Hamori of Australia. ...

A serene "landscape" in space by an artist who has made space his special realm decorates the cacheted covers that are traditionally put out by the World Federation of United Nations Associations to accompany new U.N. issues.

The artist is Ramon de Olivera of Puerto Rico, who also contributed a painting for the first-day covers and lithographs that WFUNA put out in 1975. In his art and lectures around the world, he devotes himself to the theme "Art and Man in Space."

He is currently working on what may be called a double fantasy. He is creating four volumes of hand-lettered text and illustrations for "Don Quixote in Outer Space," which takes the adventures of Don Quixote and transports them to outer space. Two volumes have been completed.

I cannot find any evidence that "Don Quixote in Outer Space" was ever completed or published. That might have been a windmill that Olivera never quite reached.

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