Cdr. Helgeson, Air Officer

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    Painting, Watercolor and Conté Crayon on Board

    Watercolor paint and Conte crayon drawing on paper. CDR Helgeson, Air Officer, 4 Dec 1972. Officer Helgeson is depicted sitting on the right in the primary flight control room on the USS Ticonderoga. The right side of the scene is dark and intensely warm bright orange while the left side is a cooler yellow. The officer seems to be surrounded by an oval of brown accents that appear to be vine-like wires. Other equipment is mounted to the ceiling. Writing in the lower left reads: "CDR Helgeson Air Officer / Primary Flight Control Room USS Ticonderoga / First Night "Same" for Apollo 17 4 Dec 72."

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    Usage Conditions Apply

    There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Painting, Watercolor and Conté Crayon on Board

    Watercolor paint and Conte crayon drawing on paper. CDR Helgeson, Air Officer, 4 Dec 1972. Officer Helgeson is depicted sitting on the right in the primary flight control room on the USS Ticonderoga. The right side of the scene is dark and intensely warm bright orange while the left side is a cooler yellow. The officer seems to be surrounded by an oval of brown accents that appear to be vine-like wires. Other equipment is mounted to the ceiling. Writing in the lower left reads: "CDR Helgeson Air Officer / Primary Flight Control Room USS Ticonderoga / First Night "Same" for Apollo 17 4 Dec 72."

    2 of 2

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.