NASA’s historic triumphs and pioneering legacy are well known to millions, but the inspiring rocket launches, moon landings and planetary explorations also had an impact on the imaginations of America’s leading artists. As the space agency turned 50, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) launched a national tour of “NASA | ART 50 Years of Exploration,” featuring 74 works from those artists.
“NASA | ART” features nearly five decades of creations by artists as diverse as Annie Leibovitz, Nam June Paik, Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol and William Wegman. Drawn from the collections of NASA and the National Air and Space Museum, the exhibition includes drawings, photographs, sculpture and other art forms and media. 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.
“NASA | ART” is organized by SITES and NASA in cooperation with the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. The local presentation is sponsored by the Las Cruces Museum of Natural History and the Las Cruces Museum of Art.
(Images: Mitchell Jamieson, First Steps, 1963, Acrylic, gauze, and paper on canvas; Norman Rockwell, Grissom and Young, 1965, oil on canvas; Tina York, Fluid Dynamics, 1995, Mixed Media; Courtesy of the artist and National Air and Space Museum)