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  Space Cover 46: Space Artist Bob McCall

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Author Topic:   Space Cover 46: Space Artist Bob McCall

Posts: 83
From: Ridgefield, CT USA
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 02-28-2010 08:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ChrisCalle   Click Here to Email ChrisCalle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space Cover of the Week, Week 46 (February 28, 2010)

Space Cover #46, Bob McCall

With the passing of artist Bob McCall this weekend, I thought it most appropriate to post a cover of one of McCall's many US stamp designs. This cover is personal for me because just a few months ago Bob sent this wonderful drawing on the cover for my 8 year old son Ian. It depicts the Apollo Eagle with olive branches ~ Peace on Earth... Peace in Space. Many space collectors of philatelic materials may have similar covers in their collections as McCall was very free to inscribe covers on request and often did a little drawing to compliment the cover. I would encourage anyone who has any of these covers to post them here at collectSPACE so that there is a record of some of these wonderful McCall "remarques" on covers.

This cover is cancelled Nov 12, 1981 Chapaman, KS and has one of the 1981 stamps from the May 21, 1981 issue, Space Achievements, a setenent pane of 8 stamps designed by McCall saluting US accomplishments in Space and Space research. I am not sure why the cover is cancelled in Chapman, KS on that date and perhaps someone here can explain.

Without a doubt, Bob McCall will be remembered as one of the most influential space artists of all time. As a young boy in the 1960's, whenever my father, Paul Calle headed to the Cape to cover a launch as one of NASA's artists, the name Bob McCall was always part of the discussions. Bob and my dad were two of the original 8 artists chosen to cover the activities and launch of Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper. They remained friends for the next 40 years, each covering most of the Gemini and Apollo Missions and each designing what will always be the most interesting and exciting US postage stamps with Space themes. Several years ago at Spacefest in Arizona, Bob and my father spent some time together reminiscing about those early NASA years and the artists and astronauts and technicians they became friends with and the fun they had at Cape Kennedy. Hearing from some of the the space enthusiasts who were present when these two artist were talking, they expressed what a real treat it was to listen.

The Man and the Artwork will be missed...

I have planned for a future Space Cover of the week to post a cover sent from the Gemini aircraft carrier where McCall was covering the astronaut recovery. Bob sent a letter to my father in which he describes the activities on board the ship, crew members who told Bob to send their regards to my father who covered the previous recovery of astronauts Grissom amd Young, and the excitement surrounding the anticipation of the recovery.


Posts: 1239
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 03-01-2010 05:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, great cover, Chris! Thanks for sharing!

The cover is postmarked the day that STS-2 was launched with Joe Engle and Dick Truly onboard. And Chapman, Ks. is Engle's home town.


Posts: 972
From: Lincolnshire IL USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 03-01-2010 09:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was a great privelege to meet Bob McCall at SpaceFest in Phoenix. I had admired his artwork for many years. We talked for a few minutes before the dinner, and he graciously signed a few First Day Covers of some of the U.S. space stamps he had designed. A true gentlemen and a talented and prolific artist whose vision of the future inspired many. RIP.


Posts: 599
From: Highlands Ranch, CO USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 07-03-2010 11:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for randyc   Click Here to Email randyc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With tomorrow being July 4, I thought the members of collectSPACE would like to see some covers in my collection that commemorate the accomplishments of the U.S. space program that include original sketches from one of America's great space artists, Robert McCall. Note that the sketches on the Space Achievement FDC and one of the Skylab FDCs are similar to aspects of the stamp(s). Also note the classic McCall 'sunburst' on the Space Achievements FDC.

Editor's note: Threads merged.


Posts: 889
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 07-03-2010 11:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wonderful covers. I have a couple of Robert McCalls covers with small drawings and value them greatly.


Posts: 377
From: Michigan
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-18-2010 07:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lunareagle   Click Here to Email lunareagle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is my tribute to Robert McCall.

Although McCall provided many "quick" black and white sketches, I have found that the detailed full watercolor ones are more challenging to find. They are unique in that he blended the sketches with the color scheme of the stamps.

All but one of these covers is also signed by a participant of the mission he was drawing. There are two STS-1 covers signed by John Young, an STS-9 cover also signed by Captain Young, an X-15 cover signed by Scott Crossfield, and a man on the moon signed by Buzz Aldrin.

All times are CT (US)

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