NASA | ART: 50 Years of Exploration

Closed on October 11, 2011

For almost half a century, artists participating in the NASA art program have been documenting the extraordinary adventure of spaceflight in ways that no camera could match. They have enjoyed special access to some epic moments and offered their unique perspectives on what they have witnessed. At NASA’s invitation, artists have captured the faces and personalities of the men and women who have flown in space, and introduced us to the other members of the team as well — the anonymous scientists, engineers, technicians, managers, secretaries, and thousands of others who performed the myriad tasks required to operate a space program. Other artists were attracted by the bunkers, gantries, radio dishes, and the towering Vehicle Assembly Building of the Kennedy Space Center, or were struck by the co-existence of the space-age architecture of the Cape with the beaches, swamps, birds, and animals that surround the space-age facility.

The NASA art collection, shared now by the space agency and the National Air and Space Museum, is far greater than the sum of its parts. It stands as a reminder of pioneering years of the early Space Age and an inspiration for those who will continue our long journey into the universe. The exhibition includes some 70 paintings, drawings, photographs, and pieces of sculpture by such artists as Annie Leibovitz, Nam June Paik, Robert Rauschenberg, Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol, and Jamie Wyeth.

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