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NASA|ART: 50 Years of Exploration

May 24 - August 16, 2009


(above: Jack Perlmutter, Liftoff at 15 Seconds, 1982, oil. Courtesy NASA Art Program)


NASA's historic triumphs and pioneering legacy are well known to millions, but the inspiring rocket launches, moon landings and planetary explorations also have had an impact on the imaginations of America's leading artists. The Huntsville Museum of Art welcomes NASA|ART: 50 Years of Exploration, an exclusive tour of art work that will be on view from May 24 to August 16, 2009. (right: Norman Rockwell, Grissom and Young, oil on canvas. Courtesy Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Licensed by Norman Rockwell Licensing, Niles, IL)

NASA|ART features nearly five decades of creations by internationally renowned American artists including Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol, Annie Leibovitz, Nam June Paik and William Wegman. The exhibition includes drawings, photographs, sculpture and other media and art forms. These works-ranging from the illustrative to the abstract-offer unparalleled insight into the private and personal moments, triumphant victories and tragic accidents that form the storied history of NASA.

The works featured in the exhibit date from the inception of the NASA Art Program in 1962, when NASA administrator James E. Webb asked a group of artists to illustrate, interpret and elucidate the space agency's missions and projects. Since then painters, musicians and conceptual artists have been with NASA every step of the way, strolling along launch pads, training in flight simulators, talking with engineers and technicians and visiting with astronauts before and after their flights.

Join the Huntsville Museum of Art for incredible works on a subject that is near and dear to the heart of Huntsville. An opening celebration, film series and other events will be scheduled throughout the duration of the exhibition, including a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Details will follow, or visit www.hsvmuseum.org for more information.


Tour itinerary

0/25/2008 -1/18/2009: Art League of Bonita Springs, Bonita Springs, FL
2/6/2009 - 5/3/2009: City of Lake Charles Arts & Cultural Center, Lake Charles, LA
5/23/2009 - 8/16/2009: Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL
9/5/2009 - 11/29/2009: Irving Arts Center, Irving, TX
12/19/2009 - /14/2010: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
4/3/2010 - 6/27/2010: Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Laurel, MS
7/16/2010 - 10/10/2010: Museum of Florida History, Tallahassee, FL
10/30/2010 - /23/2011: Arizona Museum for Youth, Mesa, AZ
2/12/2011 - 5/8/2011: Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences of West Virginia, Charleston, WV
5/28/2011 - 8/21/2011: National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC

Editor's note: RL readers may also enjoy:

And this this book:

NASA | ART : 50 Years of Exploration, by James Dean and Bertram Ulrich. Forward by Michael Collins. Introduction by Thomas Crouch. (Harry N. Abrams, 2007), 176 pages.

Artists, like astronauts, are constantly probing into the unknown. It is fitting that, shortly after the establishment of NASA in 1958, the NASA Art Program was created on the principle that artists are uniquely equipped to interpret and document the experience of space exploration. In the program's early years, artists as diverse as Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell, and James Wyeth participated. The collection includes works by Alexander Calder, Nam June Paik, William Wegman, Mike and Doug Starn, Vija Celmins, and Annie Leibovitz. Amazon book review. (text and image of book cover courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service)

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