Eyewitness to Space

In March 1962, James Webb, Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, suggested that artists be enlisted to document the historic effort to send the first human beings to the moon. John Walker, director of the National Gallery of Art, was among those who applauded the idea, urging that artists be encouraged "…not only to record the physical appearance of the strange new world which space technology is creating, but to edit, select and probe for the inner meaning and emotional impact of events which may change the destiny of our race."

Working together, James Dean, a young artist employed by the NASA Public Affairs office, and Dr. H. Lester Cooke, curator of paintings at the National Gallery of Art, created a program that dispatched artists to NASA facilities with an invitation to paint whatever interested them. The result was an extraordinary collection of works of art proving, as one observer noted, "that America produced not only scientists and engineers capable of shaping the destiny of our age, but also artists worthy to keep them company." Transferred to the National Air and Space Museum in 1975, the NASA art collection remains one of the most important elements of what has become perhaps the world's finest collection of aerospace themed art.

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  • Network Control Operations Display
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: Chet Jezierski
    Credit Line: Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Date: 1972
    Type: ART-Paintings
  • Descent of 'Casper'
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: Chet Jezierski
    Credit Line: Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Date: 1972
    Type: ART-Paintings
  • The Crew of 'Casper' is Hoisted Up
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: Chet Jezierski
    Credit Line: Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Date: 1972
    Type: ART-Paintings
  • Recovery Remembered- Apollo 16
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: Chet Jezierski
    Credit Line: Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Date: 1972
    Type: ART-Paintings
  • Saturn V
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: Chet Jezierski
    Credit Line: Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Date: 1972
    Type: ART-Paintings
  • Two Apollo Astronauts in the LM Simulator, K.S.C.
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: Chet Jezierski
    Credit Line: Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Date: 1972
    Type: ART-Paintings
  • The Last Daylight Launch of a Manned Apollo
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: Chet Jezierski
    Credit Line: Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Date: 1972
    Type: ART-Paintings
  • Remembering the Space Walk
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: Chet Jezierski
    Credit Line: Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Date: 1972
    Type: ART-Paintings
  • Service Tower Roll Back
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: Chet Jezierski
    Credit Line: Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Date: 1972
    Type: ART-Paintings
  • T-6 Hours, 50 Minutes for Apollo 16
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: Chet Jezierski
    Credit Line: Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Date: 1972
    Type: ART-Paintings
  • Impressions From the Home TV Set
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: Chet Jezierski
    Credit Line: Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
    Date: 1972
    Type: ART-Paintings
  • Apollo 16-EVA II
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: Chet Jezierski
    Credit Line: Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Date: 1972
    Type: ART-Paintings