2020 55¢ Ruth Asawa
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: August 13, 2020
First Day City: San Francisco, CA
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 18,000,000
For decades, Ruth Asawa was known as the "Fountain Lady" in San Francisco. While all of her fountains are popular with the public, one she made in 1972 is particularly impressive and was recently saved by public outcry.
The San Francisco Fountain, as it's known, was built for the Grand Hyatt. Asawa enlisted the help of over 100 school children and friends to sculpt hundreds of small scenes out of baker's clay. She then arranged them on a seven-foot-tall circular wall that went around the fountain. Cast in bronze, the wall was 14 feet in diameter and was covered with San Francisco landmarks and fictional characters. The Golden Gate Bridge, the palace of Fine Arts, a cable car, and Snoopy are just a few of the items depicted on the wall.
By 1992, the fountain was in need of repair. Then in 2013, a major retailer planned to build a store where the fountain stood. Local community groups, historical and art societies, and citizens of San Francisco all spoke out and saved the fountain. It was repaired and restored to a functioning fountain.
Asawa's San Francisco Fountain is one of the most popular fountains in the area. It is also a testament to one of her greatest beliefs that art is for everybody. Both in getting people involved to express their creativity and in interacting with the public.