Miss Lassie’s paintings are stamps

Cayman’s intuitive artist known for religious themes

The Cayman Islands Postal Service Stamp Advisory committee has done double service this year by choosing works of Gladwyn K. Bush for the Christmas stamp issue. 

In denominations of 25 cents, 75 cents, 80 cents and $1, the stamps fulfil their primary purpose of moving cards, letters and packages from one location to another. But as works of art they allow purchaser and recipient the opportunity to enjoy the images created by Cayman’s internationally acclaimed intuitive artist, known affectionately as “Miss Lassie”. 

She died in 2003 at the age of 89, but her work lives on and can be seen both at Mind’s Eye, her home in South Sound, and in a collection now featured at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands.  

For Christmas, the stamp committee decided to attach a tag to each stamp and these are perforated so that they may be mailed or not, depending on the sender’s preference. Local pastors chose the Scriptural excerpt. 

The 25-cent stamp shows Baby Jesus and his mother against a colourful background of red, gold and blue and the tag reads “Her first born”. 

The 75-cent stamp shows Jesus and Mary, his mother, again but this time they are watched over by two angels. The tag reads “A Saviour is born”. 

Jesus as lord and master is portrayed on the 80-cent stamp, along with four angels. The tag is “Wherefore God exalted Him”. 

“Wise men presented gifts” is the tag and theme of the $1 stamp, on which Jesus, Mary and Joseph are embraced by the light of the star that has led the three kings to him.  

The official first day cover with all four stamps is available for $3.60. It has the added attraction of a Christmas house according to Miss Lassie. Stamp collectors should welcome any seasonal message sent in such an envelope, but one need not be a philatelist to treasure this distinctive souvenir of Caymanian culture and heritage. 

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