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  Space public art: murals and large installments

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Author Topic:   Space public art: murals and large installments
levasseurj
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Posts: 22
From: Washington, D.C.
Registered: Jan 2010

posted 08-30-2014 08:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for levasseurj   Click Here to Email levasseurj     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm working on something for my dissertation about artistic representations of Apollo, and other than a mural that was on a building at Drexel University and the big murals and art collection at the National Air and Space Museum, I'm not aware of large pieces in public or private buildings.

I'd imagine there are some at NASA, but does anyone know of other installations?

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 30511
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-30-2014 08:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Would the Saturn V painted alongside the building housing the rocket at Johnson Space Center count?

There's also the Eric Ober space sculpture garden opposite Johnson Space Center.

In addition to the National Air and Space Museum and Johnson Space Center, Robert McCall's murals can be found at the National Gallery of Art, the Pentagon and Disney World Resort's Epcot (according to Wikipedia).

LM-12
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Posts: 1219
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 08-30-2014 09:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Marshall Space Flight Center website mentions this mural at the airport.

The mural at Dryden (now Armstrong) Flight Research Center does include the lunar landing at top right.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-30-2014 09:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If sculptures are appropriate, than there is a statue of Gene Cernan at the base the lunar module outside the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, Kansas.

There are also identical statues of Jack Swigert, in his Apollo A7L spacesuit, in the Capitol Building in Washington and at the airport in Denver, Colorado.

DougS
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Posts: 30
From: Marion, Iowa, USA
Registered: Jun 2013

posted 09-02-2014 11:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DougS   Click Here to Email DougS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Kansas Cosmosphere has a stunning 7' by 14' Robert McCall painting.

levasseurj
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Posts: 22
From: Washington, D.C.
Registered: Jan 2010

posted 09-04-2014 02:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for levasseurj   Click Here to Email levasseurj     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for these great suggestions everyone. I suspected most would be associated with locations related to NASA centers, but the sculptures in Houston are pretty cool and worth noting. I did assume there were more McCall murals out there as well, so thanks for helping identify their locations.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 30511
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-04-2014 03:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How about the stained-glass, moon-rock embedded Space Window at National Cathedral? Would that count?

RGW
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Posts: 39
From: Long Island, New York, USA
Registered: Sep 2004

posted 09-06-2014 02:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RGW   Click Here to Email RGW     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Along the lines that Robert suggested (above), Long Island's Cradle of Aviation Museum also displays space-related "public art" sculpture.

There's a 2-D/3-D rocket launching at the entrance circle. There's also an Apollo moonwalking astronaut statue at the street entrance.

Please share your other finds with us as you continue work on your dissertation.

levasseurj
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Posts: 22
From: Washington, D.C.
Registered: Jan 2010

posted 09-08-2014 08:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for levasseurj   Click Here to Email levasseurj     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm looking specifically at things inspired by photographs, so these are tangential to that, but still useful to know about. Clearly, space-related places tend to have space-inspired art of some kind, so if nobody's coming up with non-space places, the building at Drexel that used to have a mosaic inspired by Earthrise may be the only thing out there (though it's gone now sadly).

RGW
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Posts: 39
From: Long Island, New York, USA
Registered: Sep 2004

posted 09-27-2014 02:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RGW   Click Here to Email RGW     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a source you may not have tapped yet: Remembering the Space Age, Steven J. Dick, Editor (NASA History Division, 2008). PDF copy available at here.

See chapter entitled "Far Out: American Culture in the Space Age," written by Emily Rosenberg, a History Professor at UC-Irvine.

At a conference about "Remembrance and Cultural Representation of the Space Age", in Washington, D.C. in October 2007, upon which the book's chapters was based, I heard Professor Rosenberg deliver the Key Note address: "Space Age in American Culture". She discussed "Public Recollections of a Seminal Event" and framed the space age as being part of the Technetronic Age, where "astrofuturists" (authors and filmmakers) envisioned space flight, and the new medium of television made space missions the "star of spectacularity". Space technologies transformed the media and the synergy between the space missions and image-driven media sustained each other and created excitement in the culture. A futuristic "Space Age Nation on the Go" and a culture experiencing freedom, self-confidence and optimism in the early years of the Space Age helped to inspire the mid-century modernism known as "Googie Architecture", consisting of domes, spires, starbursts and arches that defined America's roadside look in the 1960's.

The other speakers I heard on Day Two of the conference were also extremely academic, with a historical focus. An eclectic mix. They each gave presentations studying space exploration as a cultural subject – trying to discern rationales and motivations that transcend the usual "space race / Cold War" justifications for exploration to try to explain how the Space Age is part of our culture.

Within that book, or perhaps by contacting Dr. Rosenberg, you may find other leads to Apollo-inspired art in the context of "everyday" American culture. Good luck.

Keep us posted.

By the way, what happened to the mosaic inspired by Earthrise at Drexel?

Lou Chinal
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Posts: 1065
From: Staten Island, NY
Registered: Jun 2007

posted 09-28-2014 09:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As suggested by RGW, can anyone post the McCall mural at JSC in Houston, Texas?

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