The seventh issue in the Literary Arts Series was dedicated to one of America's greatest writers, Ernest Hemingway on July 17, 1989, in Key West, Florida. A dedication ceremony was at Hemingway's home in Key West. A second ceremony was held on July 21 in Hemingway's birthplace of Oak Park, Illinois. Other stamps in the series have honored John Steinbeck, Edith Wharton, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, T.S. Eliot, and William Faulkner.
The design is based on a 1957 photograph of Hemingway by Yousuf Karsh.
Hemingway had the special talents of an artist who used language in a masterful way. Writing, he believed, must be drawn from emotional experience and transformed by imagination until it becomes truer than mere fact. The artist begins with reality but produces something much more interesting than the original experience. He prided himself on purity of expression, short words, declarative sentences, few similes, and dialogue rather than narration. In 1954, he received the Nobel Prize for lifetime achievement in literature.
Designed by M. Gregory Rudd, the stamps were printed in the photogravure process by the American Bank Note Company, and were issued in panes of fifty.
Postal Bulletin (June 8, 1989).