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Apollo 11 Astronauts

view Apollo 11 Astronauts digital asset number 1
Author:
Strauss, Richard
Subject:
Armstrong, Neil
Collins, Michael 1930-
Aldrin, Buzz
National Air and Space Museum
Apollo 11 (Spacecraft)
Physical description:
Color: Black and white; Size: 10w x 8h; Type of Image: Group, candid; Medium: Photographic print
Type:
Photographic print
Group, candid
Date:
1989
Category:
Historic Images of the Smithsonian
Notes:
Featured in Torch, July 1989
Summary:
Apollo 11 astronauts (from left) Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldren reunited at the National Air and Space Museum for a filming session to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the July 1969 landing.
Contained within:
Smithsonian Institution Archives Accession 98-015 Box 2 Folder July 1989
Contact information:
Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu
Topic:
Astronauts
Space vehicles
Astronautics
Museum directors
Standard number:
89-9403-19
Restrictions:
No restrictions
Data Source:
Smithsonian Archives - History Div

Apollo 11 Recovery

view Apollo 11 Recovery digital asset number 1
Creator:
National Air and Space Museum
Type:
Youtube videos
Uploaded:
2009-06-16T14:32:06.000Z
Video Title:
Apollo 11 Recovery
Description:
Apollo 11 astronauts exit command module wearing biological isolation garments and await helicopter recovery. NASA Video
Views:
40,559
Video Duration:
43 sec
Topic:
Aeronautics;Flight;Space Sciences
Youtube Category:
Education
See more by:
airandspace
YouTube Channel:
airandspace
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum

Apollo 11

view Apollo 11 digital asset number 1
Artist:
Dale Meyers
Medium:
Painting, Watercolor on Paper
Dimensions:
2-D - Unframed (H x W): 27.3 x 21.6cm (10 3/4 x 8 1/2 in.)
Type:
ART-Paintings
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Date:
1969
Physical Description:
Apollo 11, July 16, 1969. Page from a sketchbook. The white rocket of Apollo 11 is defined by the explosive strokes of blue, green, and brown that emanate from the center of the page. The red-orange gantry supports the rocket on the left, and the entire scene is reflected in the lower half of the page. Text along the right margin says: "4:30am July 16, 1969 Apollo 11."
Summary:
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.
Long Description:
The spring of 1962 was a busy time for the men and women of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. On February 20, John H. Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth. For the first time since the launch of Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957, the U.S. was positioned to match and exceed Soviet achievements in space. NASA was an agency with a mission -- to meet President John F. Kennedy's challenge of sending human beings to the moon and returning them safely to earth by the end of the decade. Within a year, three more Mercury astronauts would fly into orbit. Plans were falling into place for a follow-on series of two-man Gemini missions that would set the stage for the Apollo voyages to the moon.
In early March 1962, artist Bruce Stevenson brought his large portrait of Alan Shepard, the first American to fly in space, to NASA headquarters.(1) James E. Webb, the administrator of NASA, assumed that the artist was interested in painting a similar portrait of all seven of the Mercury astronauts. Instead, Webb voiced his preference for a group portrait that would emphasize "…the team effort and the togetherness that has characterized the first group of astronauts to be trained by this nation." More important, the episode convinced the administrator that "…we should consider in a deliberate way just what NASA should do in the field of fine arts to commemorate the …historic events" of the American space program.(2)
In addition to portraits, Webb wanted to encourage artists to capture the excitement and deeper meaning of space flight. He imagined "a nighttime scene showing the great amount of activity involved in the preparation of and countdown for launching," as well as paintings that portrayed activities in space. "The important thing," he concluded, "is to develop a policy on how we intend to treat this matter now and in the next several years and then to get down to the specifics of how we intend to implement this policy…." The first step, he suggested, was to consult with experts in the field, including the director of the National Gallery of Art, and the members of the Fine Arts Commission, the arbiters of architectural and artistic taste who passed judgment on the appearance of official buildings and monuments in the nation's capital.
Webb's memo of March 16, 1962 was the birth certificate of the NASA art program. Shelby Thompson, the director of the agency's Office of Educational Programs and Services, assigned James Dean, a young artist working as a special assistant in his office, to the project. On June 19, 1962 Thompson met with the Fine Arts Commission, requesting advice as to how "…NASA should develop a basis for use of paintings and sculptures to depict significant historical events and other activities in our program."(3)
David E. Finley, the chairman and former director of the National Gallery of Art, applauded the idea, and suggested that the agency should study the experience of the U.S. Air Force, which had amassed some 800 paintings since establishing an art program in 1954. He also introduced Thompson to Hereward Lester Cooke, curator of paintings at the National Gallery of Art.
An imposing bear of a man standing over six feet tall, Lester Cooke was a graduate of Yale and Oxford, with a Princeton PhD. The son of a physics professor and a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Forces, he was both fascinated by science and felt a personal connection to flight. On a professional level, Cooke had directed American participation in international art competitions and produced articles and illustrations for the National Geographic Magazine. He jumped at the chance to advise NASA on its art program.
While initially cautious with regard to the time the project might require of one of his chief curators, John Walker, director of the National Gallery, quickly became one of the most vocal supporters of the NASA art initiative. Certain that "the present space exploration effort by the United States will probably rank among the more important events in the history of mankind," Walker believed that "every possible method of documentation …be used." Artists should be expected "…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." He urged quick action so that "the full flavor of the achievement …not be lost," and hoped that "the past held captive" in any paintings resulting from the effort "will prove to future generations that America produced not only scientists and engineers capable of shaping the destiny of our age, but also artists worthy to keep them company."(4)
Gordon Cooper, the last Mercury astronaut to fly, was scheduled to ride an Atlas rocket into orbit on May 15, 1963. That event would provide the ideal occasion for a test run of the plan Cooke and Dean evolved to launch the art program. In mid-February, Cooke provided Thompson with a list of the artists who should be invited to travel to Cape Canaveral to record their impressions of the event. Andrew Wyeth, whom the curator identified as "the top artist in the U.S. today," headed the list. When the time came, however, Andrew Wyeth did not go to the Cape for the Cooper launch, but his son Jamie would participate in the program during the Gemini and Apollo years.
The list of invited artists also included Peter Hurd, Andrew Wyeth's brother-in-law, who had served as a wartime artist with the Army Air Force; George Weymouth, whom Wyeth regarded as "the best of his pupils"; and John McCoy, another Wyeth associate. Cooke regarded the next man on the list, Robert McCall, who had been running the Air Force art program, as "America's top aero-space illustrator. Paul Calle and Robert Shore had both painted for the Air Force program. Mitchell Jamieson, who had run a unit of the Navy art program during WW II, rounded out the program. Alfred Blaustein was the only artist to turn down the invitation.
The procedures that would remain in place for more than a decade were given a trial run in the spring of 1963. The artists received an $800 commission, which had to cover any expenses incurred while visiting a NASA facility where they could paint whatever interested them. In return, they would present their finished pieces, and all of their sketches, to the space agency. The experiment was a success, and what might have been a one-time effort to dispatch artists to witness and record the Gordon Cooper flight provided the basis for an on-going, if small-scale, program. By the end of 1970, Jim Dean and Lester Cooke had dispatched 38 artists to Mercury, Gemini and Apollo launches and to other NASA facilities.
The art program became everything that Jim Webb had hoped it would be. NASA artists produced stunning works of art that documented the agency's step-by-step progress on the way to the moon. The early fruits of the program were presented in a lavishly illustrated book, Eyewitness to Space (New York: Abrams, 1971). Works from the collection illustrated NASA publications and were the basis for educational film strips aimed at school children. In 1965 and again in 1969 the National Gallery of Art mounted two major exhibitions of work from the NASA collection. The USIA sent a selection of NASA paintings overseas, while the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service created two exhibitions of NASA art that toured the nation.
"Since we …began," Dean noted in a reflection on the tenth anniversary of the program, the art initiative had resulted in a long string of positive "press interviews and reports, congressional inquiries, columns in the Congressional Record, [and] White House reports." The NASA effort, he continued, had directly inspired other government art programs. "The Department of the Interior (at least two programs), the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Army and even the Veterans Administration have, or are starting, art programs." While he could not take all of the credit, Dean insisted that "our success has encouraged other agencies to get involved and they have succeeded, too."(5)
For all of that, he noted, it was still necessary to "defend" the role of art in the space agency. Dean, with the assistance of Lester Cooke, had been a one-man show, handling the complex logistics of the program, receiving and cataloguing works of art, hanging them himself in museums or on office walls, and struggling to find adequate storage space. In January 1976, a NASA supervisor went so far as to comment that: "Mr. Dean is far too valuable in other areas to spend his time on the relatively menial …jobs he is often burdened with in connection with the art program."(6) Dean placed a much higher value on the art collection, and immediately recommended that NASA officials either devote additional resources to the program, or get out of the art business and turn the existing collection over the National Air and Space Museum, "where it can be properly cared for."(7)
In January 1974 a new building for the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) was taking shape right across the street from NASA headquarters. Discussions regarding areas of cooperation were already underway between NASA officials and museum director Michael Collins, who had flown to the moon as a member of the Apollo 11 crew. Before the end of the year, the space agency had transferred its art collection to the NASM. Mike Collins succeeded in luring Jim Dean to the museum, as well.
The museum already maintained a small art collection, including portraits of aerospace heroes, an assortment of 18th and 19th century prints illustrating the early history of the balloon, an eclectic assortment of works portraying aspects of the history of aviation and a few recent prizes, including several Norman Rockwell paintings of NASA activity. With the acquisition of the NASA art, the museum was in possession of one of the world's great collections of art exploring aerospace themes. Jim Dean would continue to build the NASM collection as the museum's first curator of art. Following his retirement in 1980, other curators would follow in his footsteps, continuing to strengthen the role of art at the NASM. Over three decades after its arrival, however, the NASA art accession of 2,091 works still constitutes almost half of the NASM art collection.
(1) Stevenson's portrait is now in the collection of the National Air and Space Museum (1981-627)
(2) James E. Webb to Hiden Cox, March 16, 1962, memorandum in the NASA art historical collection, Aeronautics Division, National air and Space Museum. Webb's preference for a group portrait of the astronauts was apparently not heeded. In the end, Stevenson painted an individual portrait of John Glenn, which is also in the NASM collection (1963-398).
(3) Shelby Thompson, memorandum for the record, July 6, 1962, NASA art historical collection, NASA, Aeronautics Division.
(4) John Walker draft of a talk, March 5, 1965, copy in NASA Art historical collection, NASM Aeronautics Division.
(5) James Dean, memorandum for the record, August 6, 1973, NASA art history collection, NASM Aeronautics Division.
(6) Director of Planning and Media Development to Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs, January 24, 1974, NASA art history collection, NASM Aeronautics Division.
(7) James Dean to the Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs, January 24, 1974, copy in NASA Art history Collection, Aeronautics Division, NASM.
Tom D. Crouch
Senior Curator, Aeronautics
National Air and Space Museum
Smithsonian Institution
July 26, 2007
Credit Line:
Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Inventory Number:
A19751251000
Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum

Apollo 11

view Apollo 11 digital asset number 1
Artist:
Robert T. McCall
Medium:
Painting, Watercolor on Paper
Dimensions:
2-D - In Frame (H x W x D): 63.5 x 78.7cm (25 x 31 in.)
2-D - Unframed (H x W): 45.1 x 59.7cm (17 3/4 x 23 1/2 in.)
Type:
ART-Paintings
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Date:
1969
Physical Description:
Apollo 11, July 16, 1969. The Apollo 11 rocket is shown pre-launch next to a gantry in the center background of the piece. The launch area is partially obscured by a mound of vegetation. The rounded roof of the blockhouse is visible on the right, and five birds are flying in the air. The piece is outlined in black, and combined with the flat colors is has the loose look of a cartoon.
Summary:
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.
Long Description:
The spring of 1962 was a busy time for the men and women of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. On February 20, John H. Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth. For the first time since the launch of Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957, the U.S. was positioned to match and exceed Soviet achievements in space. NASA was an agency with a mission -- to meet President John F. Kennedy's challenge of sending human beings to the moon and returning them safely to earth by the end of the decade. Within a year, three more Mercury astronauts would fly into orbit. Plans were falling into place for a follow-on series of two-man Gemini missions that would set the stage for the Apollo voyages to the moon.
In early March 1962, artist Bruce Stevenson brought his large portrait of Alan Shepard, the first American to fly in space, to NASA headquarters.(1) James E. Webb, the administrator of NASA, assumed that the artist was interested in painting a similar portrait of all seven of the Mercury astronauts. Instead, Webb voiced his preference for a group portrait that would emphasize "…the team effort and the togetherness that has characterized the first group of astronauts to be trained by this nation." More important, the episode convinced the administrator that "…we should consider in a deliberate way just what NASA should do in the field of fine arts to commemorate the …historic events" of the American space program.(2)
In addition to portraits, Webb wanted to encourage artists to capture the excitement and deeper meaning of space flight. He imagined "a nighttime scene showing the great amount of activity involved in the preparation of and countdown for launching," as well as paintings that portrayed activities in space. "The important thing," he concluded, "is to develop a policy on how we intend to treat this matter now and in the next several years and then to get down to the specifics of how we intend to implement this policy…." The first step, he suggested, was to consult with experts in the field, including the director of the National Gallery of Art, and the members of the Fine Arts Commission, the arbiters of architectural and artistic taste who passed judgment on the appearance of official buildings and monuments in the nation's capital.
Webb's memo of March 16, 1962 was the birth certificate of the NASA art program. Shelby Thompson, the director of the agency's Office of Educational Programs and Services, assigned James Dean, a young artist working as a special assistant in his office, to the project. On June 19, 1962 Thompson met with the Fine Arts Commission, requesting advice as to how "…NASA should develop a basis for use of paintings and sculptures to depict significant historical events and other activities in our program."(3)
David E. Finley, the chairman and former director of the National Gallery of Art, applauded the idea, and suggested that the agency should study the experience of the U.S. Air Force, which had amassed some 800 paintings since establishing an art program in 1954. He also introduced Thompson to Hereward Lester Cooke, curator of paintings at the National Gallery of Art.
An imposing bear of a man standing over six feet tall, Lester Cooke was a graduate of Yale and Oxford, with a Princeton PhD. The son of a physics professor and a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Forces, he was both fascinated by science and felt a personal connection to flight. On a professional level, Cooke had directed American participation in international art competitions and produced articles and illustrations for the National Geographic Magazine. He jumped at the chance to advise NASA on its art program.
While initially cautious with regard to the time the project might require of one of his chief curators, John Walker, director of the National Gallery, quickly became one of the most vocal supporters of the NASA art initiative. Certain that "the present space exploration effort by the United States will probably rank among the more important events in the history of mankind," Walker believed that "every possible method of documentation …be used." Artists should be expected "…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." He urged quick action so that "the full flavor of the achievement …not be lost," and hoped that "the past held captive" in any paintings resulting from the effort "will prove to future generations that America produced not only scientists and engineers capable of shaping the destiny of our age, but also artists worthy to keep them company."(4)
Gordon Cooper, the last Mercury astronaut to fly, was scheduled to ride an Atlas rocket into orbit on May 15, 1963. That event would provide the ideal occasion for a test run of the plan Cooke and Dean evolved to launch the art program. In mid-February, Cooke provided Thompson with a list of the artists who should be invited to travel to Cape Canaveral to record their impressions of the event. Andrew Wyeth, whom the curator identified as "the top artist in the U.S. today," headed the list. When the time came, however, Andrew Wyeth did not go to the Cape for the Cooper launch, but his son Jamie would participate in the program during the Gemini and Apollo years.
The list of invited artists also included Peter Hurd, Andrew Wyeth's brother-in-law, who had served as a wartime artist with the Army Air Force; George Weymouth, whom Wyeth regarded as "the best of his pupils"; and John McCoy, another Wyeth associate. Cooke regarded the next man on the list, Robert McCall, who had been running the Air Force art program, as "America's top aero-space illustrator. Paul Calle and Robert Shore had both painted for the Air Force program. Mitchell Jamieson, who had run a unit of the Navy art program during WW II, rounded out the program. Alfred Blaustein was the only artist to turn down the invitation.
The procedures that would remain in place for more than a decade were given a trial run in the spring of 1963. The artists received an $800 commission, which had to cover any expenses incurred while visiting a NASA facility where they could paint whatever interested them. In return, they would present their finished pieces, and all of their sketches, to the space agency. The experiment was a success, and what might have been a one-time effort to dispatch artists to witness and record the Gordon Cooper flight provided the basis for an on-going, if small-scale, program. By the end of 1970, Jim Dean and Lester Cooke had dispatched 38 artists to Mercury, Gemini and Apollo launches and to other NASA facilities.
The art program became everything that Jim Webb had hoped it would be. NASA artists produced stunning works of art that documented the agency's step-by-step progress on the way to the moon. The early fruits of the program were presented in a lavishly illustrated book, Eyewitness to Space (New York: Abrams, 1971). Works from the collection illustrated NASA publications and were the basis for educational film strips aimed at school children. In 1965 and again in 1969 the National Gallery of Art mounted two major exhibitions of work from the NASA collection. The USIA sent a selection of NASA paintings overseas, while the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service created two exhibitions of NASA art that toured the nation.
"Since we …began," Dean noted in a reflection on the tenth anniversary of the program, the art initiative had resulted in a long string of positive "press interviews and reports, congressional inquiries, columns in the Congressional Record, [and] White House reports." The NASA effort, he continued, had directly inspired other government art programs. "The Department of the Interior (at least two programs), the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Army and even the Veterans Administration have, or are starting, art programs." While he could not take all of the credit, Dean insisted that "our success has encouraged other agencies to get involved and they have succeeded, too."(5)
For all of that, he noted, it was still necessary to "defend" the role of art in the space agency. Dean, with the assistance of Lester Cooke, had been a one-man show, handling the complex logistics of the program, receiving and cataloguing works of art, hanging them himself in museums or on office walls, and struggling to find adequate storage space. In January 1976, a NASA supervisor went so far as to comment that: "Mr. Dean is far too valuable in other areas to spend his time on the relatively menial …jobs he is often burdened with in connection with the art program."(6) Dean placed a much higher value on the art collection, and immediately recommended that NASA officials either devote additional resources to the program, or get out of the art business and turn the existing collection over the National Air and Space Museum, "where it can be properly cared for."(7)
In January 1974 a new building for the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) was taking shape right across the street from NASA headquarters. Discussions regarding areas of cooperation were already underway between NASA officials and museum director Michael Collins, who had flown to the moon as a member of the Apollo 11 crew. Before the end of the year, the space agency had transferred its art collection to the NASM. Mike Collins succeeded in luring Jim Dean to the museum, as well.
The museum already maintained a small art collection, including portraits of aerospace heroes, an assortment of 18th and 19th century prints illustrating the early history of the balloon, an eclectic assortment of works portraying aspects of the history of aviation and a few recent prizes, including several Norman Rockwell paintings of NASA activity. With the acquisition of the NASA art, the museum was in possession of one of the world's great collections of art exploring aerospace themes. Jim Dean would continue to build the NASM collection as the museum's first curator of art. Following his retirement in 1980, other curators would follow in his footsteps, continuing to strengthen the role of art at the NASM. Over three decades after its arrival, however, the NASA art accession of 2,091 works still constitutes almost half of the NASM art collection.
(1) Stevenson's portrait is now in the collection of the National Air and Space Museum (1981-627)
(2) James E. Webb to Hiden Cox, March 16, 1962, memorandum in the NASA art historical collection, Aeronautics Division, National air and Space Museum. Webb's preference for a group portrait of the astronauts was apparently not heeded. In the end, Stevenson painted an individual portrait of John Glenn, which is also in the NASM collection (1963-398).
(3) Shelby Thompson, memorandum for the record, July 6, 1962, NASA art historical collection, NASA, Aeronautics Division.
(4) John Walker draft of a talk, March 5, 1965, copy in NASA Art historical collection, NASM Aeronautics Division.
(5) James Dean, memorandum for the record, August 6, 1973, NASA art history collection, NASM Aeronautics Division.
(6) Director of Planning and Media Development to Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs, January 24, 1974, NASA art history collection, NASM Aeronautics Division.
(7) James Dean to the Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs, January 24, 1974, copy in NASA Art history Collection, Aeronautics Division, NASM.
Tom D. Crouch
Senior Curator, Aeronautics
National Air and Space Museum
Smithsonian Institution
July 26, 2007
Credit Line:
Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Inventory Number:
A19760251000
Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum

Apollo 11 Launch: Photographed

view Apollo 11 Launch: Photographed digital asset number 1
Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine
Type:
Youtube videos
Uploaded:
2010-02-23T18:32:08.000Z
Video Title:
Apollo 11 Launch: Photographed
Description:
Read more at http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/We-Have-Liftoff.html Photographer David Burnett focused his camera on the many tourists who flocked to Florida in 1969 to watch the launch of Apollo 11 (Produced by Molly Roberts; Photographs by David Burnett/Contact Press Images).
Views:
1,049
Video Duration:
3 min 51 sec
Youtube Category:
Education
See more by:
SmithsonianMagazine
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianMagazine
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine

Apollo 11 Moonshot Coverage

view Apollo 11 Moonshot Coverage digital asset number 1
Creator:
Unknown
Subject:
Durant, Frederick C. 1916-
Mudd, Roger 1928-
Arts and Industries Building (Washington, D.C.)
Columbia Broadcasting System, inc
National Broadcasting Company
Apollo 11 (Spacecraft)
National Air and Space Museum
Smithsonian Institution Office of Public Affairs
Physical description:
35mm;
Type:
Black-and-white negatives
Date:
1969
July 20, 1969
Notes:
Digital contact sheet available.
Summary:
CBS - NBC Apollo 11 moonshot coverage telecast in the Arts and Industries Building, with CBS reporter Roger Mudd and Frederick C. Durant III, Assistant Director of the National Air and Space Museum.
Cite as:
SIA Acc. 11-008 - Smithsonian Institution. Office of Public Affairs, Photographic Collection, 1960-1970, Smithsonian Institution Archives
Local number:
SIA Acc. 11-008 [OPA-1548]
Restrictions:
No restrictions All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by the Smithsonian Institution Archives. Contact SIA Reference Staff for further information (email OSIAREF@si.edu)
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Sunglasses, Apollo 11

view Sunglasses, Apollo 11 digital asset number 1
Manufacturer:
American Optical Co.
Materials:
Glass, Aluminum, Gold Plating, Plastic
Dimensions:
3-D: 13.8 x 15.1 x 4.4cm (5 7/16 x 5 15/16 x 1 3/4 in.)
Type:
PERSONAL EQUIPMENT-Accessories
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Summary:
These sunglasses were included in the personal equipment stored for use by astronauts on the Apollo 11 mission to protect their eyes from the sunlight. Without the protection of our atmosphere, sunlight is more harmful to the eyes in space. Spacecraft were supplied with protective window shades and sunglasses for astronaut use, and spacesuit helmets included a layer of gold to reflect the sun's rays during spacewalks.
NASA transferred these sunglasses to the Museum in 1971 with the Apollo 11 spacecraft.
Long Description:
These sunglasses were worn by an astronaut on the Apollo 11 mission to protect their eyes from the sunlight, which is more dangerous to the eye in outer space as a result of not being filtered through the Earth's atmosphere.
Credit Line:
Transferred from NASA
Inventory Number:
A19720652000
Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
Additional Online Media:

Penlight, Apollo 11

view Penlight, Apollo 11 digital asset number 1
Manufacturer:
ACR Electronics Corporation
Materials:
Brass, Velcro
Interior: Chrome reflector, light bulb
Dimensions:
3-D: 13.3 x 1.6cm (5 1/4 x 5/8 in.)
Type:
PERSONAL EQUIPMENT-Accessories
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Summary:
This small flashlight, built by the ACR Electronics Corporation, was part of the emergency tool kit for use in the command module during the Apollo 11 mission in July 1969.
Constructed of brass, it was powered by a small battery, and operated by rotating the bulb end.
Transferred to the National Air and Space Museum from NASA in 1979
Credit Line:
Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Inventory Number:
A19791754000
Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Location:
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA
Exhibit Station:
Human Spaceflight
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum

Penlight, Apollo 11

view Penlight, Apollo 11 digital asset number 1
Manufacturer:
ACR Electronics Corporation
Materials:
Overall: Brass, glass
Dimensions:
3-D: 12.7 × 2.5cm (5 × 1 in.)
Type:
PERSONAL EQUIPMENT-Miscellaneous
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Summary:
This small flashlight was part of the astronaut equipment available to the Apollo 11 crew on their July 1969 mission to the Moon.
It is constructed with a brass case, and was operated by rotating the bulb end. It was powered by a small battery and had a small velcro tab to keep it secure in the weightless environment.
Michael Collins donated this to the National Air and Space Museum in 1985.
Credit Line:
Transferred from NASA - Johnson Space Center
Inventory Number:
A19850142000
Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Location:
National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC
Exhibition:
Apollo to the Moon
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
Additional Online Media:

Button, Apollo 11

view Button, Apollo 11 digital asset number 1
Materials:
Steel
Plastic
Synthetic Fabric
Copper Alloy
Ink
Dimensions:
3-D (Button): 15.9 × 4.4 × 0.6cm (6 1/4 × 1 3/4 × 1/4 in.)
Storage: 21.6 × 8.9 × 3.8cm (8 1/2 × 3 1/2 × 1 1/2 in.)
Type:
MEMORABILIA-Events
Country of Origin:
United States
Summary:
This button and ribbon celebrate the Apollo 11 lunar landing on July 20, 1969. On that date, NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin walked on the Moon's surface while Michael Collins orbited above in the command module. Buttons like this one were sold and collected as souvenirs of the event. Timothy Connelly donated this button and ribbon collected by his father, an avid button collector, to the National Collection in 2005.
Credit Line:
Gift of Timothy Connelly
Inventory Number:
A20050481000
Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum

Button, Apollo 11

view Button, Apollo 11 digital asset number 1
Materials:
Steel
Plastic
Synthetic Fabric
Copper Alloy
Ink
Dimensions:
3-D (Button): 13 × 13 × 0.6cm (5 1/8 × 5 1/8 × 1/4 in.)
Storage: 19.1 × 10.2 × 3.8cm (7 1/2 × 4 × 1 1/2 in.)
Type:
MEMORABILIA-Events
Country of Origin:
United States
Summary:
This button and ribbon celebrated the Apollo 11 lunar landing on July 20, 1969. On that date, NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz"Aldrin walked on the Moon's surface while Michael Collins orbited in the command module. Although the mission was also celebrated as a universal human achievement, this button celebrates the feat as a uniquely American one. Timothy Connelly donated this button, collected by his father, an avid button collector, to the National Collection in 2005.
Credit Line:
Gift of Timothy Connelly
Inventory Number:
A20050482000
Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum

Intervalometer, Apollo 11

view Intervalometer, Apollo 11 digital asset number 1
Manufacturer:
J. A. Maurer, Inc.
Materials:
metal, plastic
Dimensions:
Overall (box): 2 1/2 in. tall x 2 1/2 in. wide x 1 in. deep (6.35 x 6.35 x 2.54cm)
Other (cable): 1 ft. long (30.48cm)
Type:
EQUIPMENT-Photographic
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Credit Line:
Transferred from NASA
Inventory Number:
A19791536000
Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Location:
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA
Hangar:
James S. McDonnell Space Hangar
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum

Apollo 11 Crew

Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins
view Apollo 11 Crew digital asset number 1
Artist:
Ronald B. Anderson, born 1929
Sitter:
Neil Alden Armstrong, 5 Aug 1930 - 25 Aug 2012
Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Jr., born 20 Jan 1930
Michael Collins, born 31 Oct 1930
Medium:
Oil on board
Dimensions:
Board: 102.2 x 81.3 x 2.5cm (40 1/4 x 32 x 1")
Frame: 118.1 x 97.8 x 6.4cm (46 1/2 x 38 1/2 x 2 1/2")
Type:
Painting
Date:
1969
Topic:
Nature & Environment\Water\Ocean
Nature & Environment\Water\Ocean
Symbols & Motifs\Flag\National\United States
Symbols & Motifs\Flag\National\United States
Vehicle\Spacecraft\Rocket
Exterior\Landscape\Moonscape
Vehicle\Lunar module
Nature & Environment\Planet\Earth
Neil Alden Armstrong: Male
Neil Alden Armstrong: Education\Educator\Professor
Neil Alden Armstrong: Science and Technology\Scientist\Astronaut
Neil Alden Armstrong: Military\Navy\Pilot
Neil Alden Armstrong: Science and Technology\Engineer\Aeronautical
Neil Alden Armstrong: Science and Technology\Engineer\Aerospace
Neil Alden Armstrong: Military\Navy
Neil Alden Armstrong: Presidential Medal of Freedom
Neil Alden Armstrong: Congressional Gold Medal
Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Jr.: Male
Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Jr.: Science and Technology\Scientist\Astronaut
Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Jr.: Presidential Medal of Freedom
Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Jr.: Congressional Gold Medal
Michael Collins: Male
Michael Collins: Science and Technology\Scientist\Astronaut
Michael Collins: Military\Air Force\Officer\Pilot
Michael Collins: Society and Social Change\Administrator\Museum\Director
Michael Collins: Society and Social Change\Administrator\Smithsonian Institution
Michael Collins: Congressional Gold Medal
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Mr. and Mrs. William D. Blakemore, Midland, Texas; Mr. and Mrs. Omar Harvey, Dallas, Texas; Mr. and Mrs. R.K. Keitz, Dallas, Texas; Col. and Mrs. Thomas A.P. Krock, Dallas, Texas; Mr. and Mrs. W.R. Lloyd, Jr., Houston, Texas; Dr. and Mrs. J.R. Maxfield, Dallas, Texas; Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Nagorny, Jr., Houston, Texas; Dr. and Mrs. H.B. Renfrow, Dallas, Texas; Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Taylor, Dallas, Texas; Dr. and Mrs. J. Robert Terry, Miami, Florida; Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Young, Dallas, Texas; and an anonymous donor
Object number:
NPG.70.36
See more items in:
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery

Apollo 11 Launch

view Apollo 11 Launch digital asset number 1
Artist:
Paul Calle
Medium:
Drawing, Pen and Ink on Paper
Dimensions:
2-D - Unframed (H x W): 35.6 x 27.9cm (14 x 11 in.)
Type:
ART-Drawings
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Date:
1969
Physical Description:
Apollo 11 Launch, July 16, 1969. The bottom of the first stage of the Apollo 11 rocket is shown in lift-off. Sweeping, diagonal strokes fill in the space around it, and a trapezoid-shaped area beneath the rocket is relatively free of marks.
Long Description:
The spring of 1962 was a busy time for the men and women of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. On February 20, John H. Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth. For the first time since the launch of Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957, the U.S. was positioned to match and exceed Soviet achievements in space. NASA was an agency with a mission -- to meet President John F. Kennedy's challenge of sending human beings to the moon and returning them safely to earth by the end of the decade. Within a year, three more Mercury astronauts would fly into orbit. Plans were falling into place for a follow-on series of two-man Gemini missions that would set the stage for the Apollo voyages to the moon.
In early March 1962, artist Bruce Stevenson brought his large portrait of Alan Shepard, the first American to fly in space, to NASA headquarters.(1) James E. Webb, the administrator of NASA, assumed that the artist was interested in painting a similar portrait of all seven of the Mercury astronauts. Instead, Webb voiced his preference for a group portrait that would emphasize "…the team effort and the togetherness that has characterized the first group of astronauts to be trained by this nation." More important, the episode convinced the administrator that "…we should consider in a deliberate way just what NASA should do in the field of fine arts to commemorate the …historic events" of the American space program.(2)
In addition to portraits, Webb wanted to encourage artists to capture the excitement and deeper meaning of space flight. He imagined "a nighttime scene showing the great amount of activity involved in the preparation of and countdown for launching," as well as paintings that portrayed activities in space. "The important thing," he concluded, "is to develop a policy on how we intend to treat this matter now and in the next several years and then to get down to the specifics of how we intend to implement this policy…." The first step, he suggested, was to consult with experts in the field, including the director of the National Gallery of Art, and the members of the Fine Arts Commission, the arbiters of architectural and artistic taste who passed judgment on the appearance of official buildings and monuments in the nation's capital.
Webb's memo of March 16, 1962 was the birth certificate of the NASA art program. Shelby Thompson, the director of the agency's Office of Educational Programs and Services, assigned James Dean, a young artist working as a special assistant in his office, to the project. On June 19, 1962 Thompson met with the Fine Arts Commission, requesting advice as to how "…NASA should develop a basis for use of paintings and sculptures to depict significant historical events and other activities in our program."(3)
David E. Finley, the chairman and former director of the National Gallery of Art, applauded the idea, and suggested that the agency should study the experience of the U.S. Air Force, which had amassed some 800 paintings since establishing an art program in 1954. He also introduced Thompson to Hereward Lester Cooke, curator of paintings at the National Gallery of Art.
An imposing bear of a man standing over six feet tall, Lester Cooke was a graduate of Yale and Oxford, with a Princeton PhD. The son of a physics professor and a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Forces, he was both fascinated by science and felt a personal connection to flight. On a professional level, Cooke had directed American participation in international art competitions and produced articles and illustrations for the National Geographic Magazine. He jumped at the chance to advise NASA on its art program.
While initially cautious with regard to the time the project might require of one of his chief curators, John Walker, director of the National Gallery, quickly became one of the most vocal supporters of the NASA art initiative. Certain that "the present space exploration effort by the United States will probably rank among the more important events in the history of mankind," Walker believed that "every possible method of documentation …be used." Artists should be expected "…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." He urged quick action so that "the full flavor of the achievement …not be lost," and hoped that "the past held captive" in any paintings resulting from the effort "will prove to future generations that America produced not only scientists and engineers capable of shaping the destiny of our age, but also artists worthy to keep them company."(4)
Gordon Cooper, the last Mercury astronaut to fly, was scheduled to ride an Atlas rocket into orbit on May 15, 1963. That event would provide the ideal occasion for a test run of the plan Cooke and Dean evolved to launch the art program. In mid-February, Cooke provided Thompson with a list of the artists who should be invited to travel to Cape Canaveral to record their impressions of the event. Andrew Wyeth, whom the curator identified as "the top artist in the U.S. today," headed the list. When the time came, however, Andrew Wyeth did not go to the Cape for the Cooper launch, but his son Jamie would participate in the program during the Gemini and Apollo years.
The list of invited artists also included Peter Hurd, Andrew Wyeth's brother-in-law, who had served as a wartime artist with the Army Air Force; George Weymouth, whom Wyeth regarded as "the best of his pupils"; and John McCoy, another Wyeth associate. Cooke regarded the next man on the list, Robert McCall, who had been running the Air Force art program, as "America's top aero-space illustrator. Paul Calle and Robert Shore had both painted for the Air Force program. Mitchell Jamieson, who had run a unit of the Navy art program during WW II, rounded out the program. Alfred Blaustein was the only artist to turn down the invitation.
The procedures that would remain in place for more than a decade were given a trial run in the spring of 1963. The artists received an $800 commission, which had to cover any expenses incurred while visiting a NASA facility where they could paint whatever interested them. In return, they would present their finished pieces, and all of their sketches, to the space agency. The experiment was a success, and what might have been a one-time effort to dispatch artists to witness and record the Gordon Cooper flight provided the basis for an on-going, if small-scale, program. By the end of 1970, Jim Dean and Lester Cooke had dispatched 38 artists to Mercury, Gemini and Apollo launches and to other NASA facilities.
The art program became everything that Jim Webb had hoped it would be. NASA artists produced stunning works of art that documented the agency's step-by-step progress on the way to the moon. The early fruits of the program were presented in a lavishly illustrated book, Eyewitness to Space (New York: Abrams, 1971). Works from the collection illustrated NASA publications and were the basis for educational film strips aimed at school children. In 1965 and again in 1969 the National Gallery of Art mounted two major exhibitions of work from the NASA collection. The USIA sent a selection of NASA paintings overseas, while the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service created two exhibitions of NASA art that toured the nation.
"Since we …began," Dean noted in a reflection on the tenth anniversary of the program, the art initiative had resulted in a long string of positive "press interviews and reports, congressional inquiries, columns in the Congressional Record, [and] White House reports." The NASA effort, he continued, had directly inspired other government art programs. "The Department of the Interior (at least two programs), the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Army and even the Veterans Administration have, or are starting, art programs." While he could not take all of the credit, Dean insisted that "our success has encouraged other agencies to get involved and they have succeeded, too."(5)
For all of that, he noted, it was still necessary to "defend" the role of art in the space agency. Dean, with the assistance of Lester Cooke, had been a one-man show, handling the complex logistics of the program, receiving and cataloguing works of art, hanging them himself in museums or on office walls, and struggling to find adequate storage space. In January 1976, a NASA supervisor went so far as to comment that: "Mr. Dean is far too valuable in other areas to spend his time on the relatively menial …jobs he is often burdened with in connection with the art program."(6) Dean placed a much higher value on the art collection, and immediately recommended that NASA officials either devote additional resources to the program, or get out of the art business and turn the existing collection over the National Air and Space Museum, "where it can be properly cared for."(7)
In January 1974 a new building for the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) was taking shape right across the street from NASA headquarters. Discussions regarding areas of cooperation were already underway between NASA officials and museum director Michael Collins, who had flown to the moon as a member of the Apollo 11 crew. Before the end of the year, the space agency had transferred its art collection to the NASM. Mike Collins succeeded in luring Jim Dean to the museum, as well.
The museum already maintained a small art collection, including portraits of aerospace heroes, an assortment of 18th and 19th century prints illustrating the early history of the balloon, an eclectic assortment of works portraying aspects of the history of aviation and a few recent prizes, including several Norman Rockwell paintings of NASA activity. With the acquisition of the NASA art, the museum was in possession of one of the world's great collections of art exploring aerospace themes. Jim Dean would continue to build the NASM collection as the museum's first curator of art. Following his retirement in 1980, other curators would follow in his footsteps, continuing to strengthen the role of art at the NASM. Over three decades after its arrival, however, the NASA art accession of 2,091 works still constitutes almost half of the NASM art collection.
(1) Stevenson's portrait is now in the collection of the National Air and Space Museum (1981-627)
(2) James E. Webb to Hiden Cox, March 16, 1962, memorandum in the NASA art historical collection, Aeronautics Division, National air and Space Museum. Webb's preference for a group portrait of the astronauts was apparently not heeded. In the end, Stevenson painted an individual portrait of John Glenn, which is also in the NASM collection (1963-398).
(3) Shelby Thompson, memorandum for the record, July 6, 1962, NASA art historical collection, NASA, Aeronautics Division.
(4) John Walker draft of a talk, March 5, 1965, copy in NASA Art historical collection, NASM Aeronautics Division.
(5) James Dean, memorandum for the record, August 6, 1973, NASA art history collection, NASM Aeronautics Division.
(6) Director of Planning and Media Development to Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs, January 24, 1974, NASA art history collection, NASM Aeronautics Division.
(7) James Dean to the Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs, January 24, 1974, copy in NASA Art history Collection, Aeronautics Division, NASM.
Tom D. Crouch
Senior Curator, Aeronautics
National Air and Space Museum
Smithsonian Institution
July 26, 2007
Credit Line:
Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Inventory Number:
A19780459000
Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum

Apollo 11 Pad

view Apollo 11 Pad digital asset number 1
Artist:
Robert T. McCall
Medium:
Drawing, Felt Tip Pen on Paper
Dimensions:
2-D - Unframed (H x W): 45.7 x 61cm (18 x 24 in.)
Type:
ART-Drawings
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Date:
1969
Physical Description:
Apollo 11 Pad, 15 July 69. The scene surrounding a launch pad is drawn in uniformly thick black strokes. The triangular composition is defined by the gantry and rocket in the center, a spherical fuel tank on the left, and diagonal lines on the right. Birds are flying above the fuel tank and a road in the bottom right curves around in the shape of a "C".
Long Description:
The spring of 1962 was a busy time for the men and women of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. On February 20, John H. Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth. For the first time since the launch of Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957, the U.S. was positioned to match and exceed Soviet achievements in space. NASA was an agency with a mission -- to meet President John F. Kennedy's challenge of sending human beings to the moon and returning them safely to earth by the end of the decade. Within a year, three more Mercury astronauts would fly into orbit. Plans were falling into place for a follow-on series of two-man Gemini missions that would set the stage for the Apollo voyages to the moon.
In early March 1962, artist Bruce Stevenson brought his large portrait of Alan Shepard, the first American to fly in space, to NASA headquarters.(1) James E. Webb, the administrator of NASA, assumed that the artist was interested in painting a similar portrait of all seven of the Mercury astronauts. Instead, Webb voiced his preference for a group portrait that would emphasize "…the team effort and the togetherness that has characterized the first group of astronauts to be trained by this nation." More important, the episode convinced the administrator that "…we should consider in a deliberate way just what NASA should do in the field of fine arts to commemorate the …historic events" of the American space program.(2)
In addition to portraits, Webb wanted to encourage artists to capture the excitement and deeper meaning of space flight. He imagined "a nighttime scene showing the great amount of activity involved in the preparation of and countdown for launching," as well as paintings that portrayed activities in space. "The important thing," he concluded, "is to develop a policy on how we intend to treat this matter now and in the next several years and then to get down to the specifics of how we intend to implement this policy…." The first step, he suggested, was to consult with experts in the field, including the director of the National Gallery of Art, and the members of the Fine Arts Commission, the arbiters of architectural and artistic taste who passed judgment on the appearance of official buildings and monuments in the nation's capital.
Webb's memo of March 16, 1962 was the birth certificate of the NASA art program. Shelby Thompson, the director of the agency's Office of Educational Programs and Services, assigned James Dean, a young artist working as a special assistant in his office, to the project. On June 19, 1962 Thompson met with the Fine Arts Commission, requesting advice as to how "…NASA should develop a basis for use of paintings and sculptures to depict significant historical events and other activities in our program."(3)
David E. Finley, the chairman and former director of the National Gallery of Art, applauded the idea, and suggested that the agency should study the experience of the U.S. Air Force, which had amassed some 800 paintings since establishing an art program in 1954. He also introduced Thompson to Hereward Lester Cooke, curator of paintings at the National Gallery of Art.
An imposing bear of a man standing over six feet tall, Lester Cooke was a graduate of Yale and Oxford, with a Princeton PhD. The son of a physics professor and a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Forces, he was both fascinated by science and felt a personal connection to flight. On a professional level, Cooke had directed American participation in international art competitions and produced articles and illustrations for the National Geographic Magazine. He jumped at the chance to advise NASA on its art program.
While initially cautious with regard to the time the project might require of one of his chief curators, John Walker, director of the National Gallery, quickly became one of the most vocal supporters of the NASA art initiative. Certain that "the present space exploration effort by the United States will probably rank among the more important events in the history of mankind," Walker believed that "every possible method of documentation …be used." Artists should be expected "…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." He urged quick action so that "the full flavor of the achievement …not be lost," and hoped that "the past held captive" in any paintings resulting from the effort "will prove to future generations that America produced not only scientists and engineers capable of shaping the destiny of our age, but also artists worthy to keep them company."(4)
Gordon Cooper, the last Mercury astronaut to fly, was scheduled to ride an Atlas rocket into orbit on May 15, 1963. That event would provide the ideal occasion for a test run of the plan Cooke and Dean evolved to launch the art program. In mid-February, Cooke provided Thompson with a list of the artists who should be invited to travel to Cape Canaveral to record their impressions of the event. Andrew Wyeth, whom the curator identified as "the top artist in the U.S. today," headed the list. When the time came, however, Andrew Wyeth did not go to the Cape for the Cooper launch, but his son Jamie would participate in the program during the Gemini and Apollo years.
The list of invited artists also included Peter Hurd, Andrew Wyeth's brother-in-law, who had served as a wartime artist with the Army Air Force; George Weymouth, whom Wyeth regarded as "the best of his pupils"; and John McCoy, another Wyeth associate. Cooke regarded the next man on the list, Robert McCall, who had been running the Air Force art program, as "America's top aero-space illustrator. Paul Calle and Robert Shore had both painted for the Air Force program. Mitchell Jamieson, who had run a unit of the Navy art program during WW II, rounded out the program. Alfred Blaustein was the only artist to turn down the invitation.
The procedures that would remain in place for more than a decade were given a trial run in the spring of 1963. The artists received an $800 commission, which had to cover any expenses incurred while visiting a NASA facility where they could paint whatever interested them. In return, they would present their finished pieces, and all of their sketches, to the space agency. The experiment was a success, and what might have been a one-time effort to dispatch artists to witness and record the Gordon Cooper flight provided the basis for an on-going, if small-scale, program. By the end of 1970, Jim Dean and Lester Cooke had dispatched 38 artists to Mercury, Gemini and Apollo launches and to other NASA facilities.
The art program became everything that Jim Webb had hoped it would be. NASA artists produced stunning works of art that documented the agency's step-by-step progress on the way to the moon. The early fruits of the program were presented in a lavishly illustrated book, Eyewitness to Space (New York: Abrams, 1971). Works from the collection illustrated NASA publications and were the basis for educational film strips aimed at school children. In 1965 and again in 1969 the National Gallery of Art mounted two major exhibitions of work from the NASA collection. The USIA sent a selection of NASA paintings overseas, while the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service created two exhibitions of NASA art that toured the nation.
"Since we …began," Dean noted in a reflection on the tenth anniversary of the program, the art initiative had resulted in a long string of positive "press interviews and reports, congressional inquiries, columns in the Congressional Record, [and] White House reports." The NASA effort, he continued, had directly inspired other government art programs. "The Department of the Interior (at least two programs), the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Army and even the Veterans Administration have, or are starting, art programs." While he could not take all of the credit, Dean insisted that "our success has encouraged other agencies to get involved and they have succeeded, too."(5)
For all of that, he noted, it was still necessary to "defend" the role of art in the space agency. Dean, with the assistance of Lester Cooke, had been a one-man show, handling the complex logistics of the program, receiving and cataloguing works of art, hanging them himself in museums or on office walls, and struggling to find adequate storage space. In January 1976, a NASA supervisor went so far as to comment that: "Mr. Dean is far too valuable in other areas to spend his time on the relatively menial …jobs he is often burdened with in connection with the art program."(6) Dean placed a much higher value on the art collection, and immediately recommended that NASA officials either devote additional resources to the program, or get out of the art business and turn the existing collection over the National Air and Space Museum, "where it can be properly cared for."(7)
In January 1974 a new building for the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) was taking shape right across the street from NASA headquarters. Discussions regarding areas of cooperation were already underway between NASA officials and museum director Michael Collins, who had flown to the moon as a member of the Apollo 11 crew. Before the end of the year, the space agency had transferred its art collection to the NASM. Mike Collins succeeded in luring Jim Dean to the museum, as well.
The museum already maintained a small art collection, including portraits of aerospace heroes, an assortment of 18th and 19th century prints illustrating the early history of the balloon, an eclectic assortment of works portraying aspects of the history of aviation and a few recent prizes, including several Norman Rockwell paintings of NASA activity. With the acquisition of the NASA art, the museum was in possession of one of the world's great collections of art exploring aerospace themes. Jim Dean would continue to build the NASM collection as the museum's first curator of art. Following his retirement in 1980, other curators would follow in his footsteps, continuing to strengthen the role of art at the NASM. Over three decades after its arrival, however, the NASA art accession of 2,091 works still constitutes almost half of the NASM art collection.
(1) Stevenson's portrait is now in the collection of the National Air and Space Museum (1981-627)
(2) James E. Webb to Hiden Cox, March 16, 1962, memorandum in the NASA art historical collection, Aeronautics Division, National air and Space Museum. Webb's preference for a group portrait of the astronauts was apparently not heeded. In the end, Stevenson painted an individual portrait of John Glenn, which is also in the NASM collection (1963-398).
(3) Shelby Thompson, memorandum for the record, July 6, 1962, NASA art historical collection, NASA, Aeronautics Division.
(4) John Walker draft of a talk, March 5, 1965, copy in NASA Art historical collection, NASM Aeronautics Division.
(5) James Dean, memorandum for the record, August 6, 1973, NASA art history collection, NASM Aeronautics Division.
(6) Director of Planning and Media Development to Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs, January 24, 1974, NASA art history collection, NASM Aeronautics Division.
(7) James Dean to the Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs, January 24, 1974, copy in NASA Art history Collection, Aeronautics Division, NASM.
Tom D. Crouch
Senior Curator, Aeronautics
National Air and Space Museum
Smithsonian Institution
July 26, 2007
Credit Line:
Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Inventory Number:
A19760569000
Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum

Apollo 11 Flight, Lunar Samples, Smithsonian. [digital image]

view Apollo 11 Flight, Lunar Samples, Smithsonian. [digital image] digital asset number 1
Photographer:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Type:
Digital images
Date:
9/15/1969
Summary:
On September 15, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts, (left to right) Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr., Lunar Module pilot; Michael Collins, Command Module pilot; and Neil A. Armstrong, commander, show a two-pound Moon rock to Frank Taylor, then Director General of Museums at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. The rock was collected on the lunar surface during the Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) of Aldrin and Armstrong and presented to the Smithsonian for display in the Art and Industries Building.
Topic:
Apollo 11 Flight, Lunar Samples, Smithsonian, Astronauts, Astronautics, Moon
Local number:
NASM-NASA-MSFC-6903159
Restrictions:
Images are subject to Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum, Copyright and Image Use Restrictions. Usage requires prior written permission. Should you wish to use NASM still images in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Photographs, available at NASM's Permissions webpage: www.nasm.si.edu/research/arch/permissions.cfm
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Cataloged Imagery Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum Archives

Apollo 11 Astronauts at Press Conference

view Apollo 11 Astronauts at Press Conference digital asset number 1
Author:
Farrar, Richard
Subject:
Collins, Michael 1930-
Aldrin, Buzz
Armstrong, Neil
National Air and Space Museum
National Museum of History and Technology (U.S.)
Apollo 11 (Spacecraft)
National Museum of American History (U.S.) (NMAH)
Physical description:
Color: Black and White; Size: 10w x 8h; Type of Image: Event; Medium: Photographic print
Type:
Photographic print
Date:
1974
Category:
Historic Images of the Smithsonian
Notes:
Featured in TORCH, September 1974
Summary:
From left to right: Apollo 11 Astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin at a press conference in the Carmichael Auditorium of the National Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History, on July 20, 1974, marking the fifth anniversary observance of the Apollo 11 mission.
Contained within:
Smithsonian Institution Archives Record Unit 371 Box 2 Folder September 1974
Contact information:
Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu
Topic:
Astronautics
Celebrities and Dignitaries
Astronauts
Event
Standard number:
74-7135-31
Restrictions:
No restrictions
Data Source:
Smithsonian Archives - History Div

Celebrating Apollo 11 - 20th Anniversary

view Celebrating Apollo 11 - 20th Anniversary digital asset number 1
Author:
Russo, Carolyn
Subject:
Bush, George 1924-
Bush, Barbara 1925-
Armstrong, Neil
Aldrin, Buzz
Adams, Robert McCormick 1926-
Quayle, James Danforth
Collins, Michael 1930-
Harwit, Martin 1931-
Apollo 11 (Spacecraft)
National Air and Space Museum
Physical description:
Color: Black and White; Size: 8w x 10h; Type of Image: Event; Medium: Photographic print
Type:
Photographic print
Date:
1989
Category:
Historic Images of the Smithsonian
Notes:
Featured in Torch August 1989
Summary:
Hanging from the walls of the National Air and Space Museum, the U.S. flag loomed large and proud over the podium at the July 20 celebration of the 20th anniversary of the first lunar landing. President George H. W. Bush and Vice President Dan Quayle joined the three Apollo 22 astronauts- Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin for a morning ceremony. Also pictured are Secretary Adams, NASM Director Martin Harwit, Barbara Bush, Marilyn Quayle, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Administrator Richard Truly, and Postmaster General Anthony Frank.
Contained within:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 98-015, Box 2, Folder: August 1989
Contact information:
Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu
Topic:
Quayle, Marilyn
Secretaries
Flags
Astronauts
Event
Standard number:
89-12989-46A
Restrictions:
No restrictions
Data Source:
Smithsonian Archives - History Div

Medal, Commemorative, Apollo 11

view Medal, Commemorative, Apollo 11 digital asset number 1
Materials:
Nickel bronze
Dimensions:
3-D: 5.1cm (2 in.)
Type:
MEMORABILIA-Events
Country of Origin:
Netherlands
Summary:
This Apollo 11 commemorative medal was minted in the Netherlands. Apollo 11 launched on July 16, 1969, and returned to Earth eight days later. It was the fifth human spaceflight in the program and the first to land humans on the Moon. Over 500 million people around the world watched Neil Armstrong's televised image and heard his voice as he took his historic first step on the Moon on July 20. Michael Collins and Edwin Aldrin, Jr. were the other two astronauts.
Space medal collector Thomas Becker donated the medal to the National Collection in 1972.
Credit Line:
Gift of Thomas Becker
Inventory Number:
A19731542000
Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Location:
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA
Hangar:
James S. McDonnell Space Hangar
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum

Cable, Power, Apollo 11

view Cable, Power, Apollo 11 digital asset number 1
Manufacturer:
Bendix Corp.
Materials:
Metal, plastic
Dimensions:
Other: 8 ft. 9 in. long (266.7cm)
Type:
EQUIPMENT-Photographic
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Summary:
This power cable provided an electrical connection between the command module's data aquisition camera and the Apollo 11 spacecraft. The cable provided 28 volts of direct current to the small 16mm movie camera. The camera recorded technical maneuvers during the mission such as lunar module docking and undocking.
NASA transferred this cable to the Museum in 1970 with other Apollo 11 equipment.
Credit Line:
Transferred from NASA
Inventory Number:
A19791520000
Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
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