This part of the Space Art section provides lists
of galleries, photography, the art of mission patches,
and other resources on the web
The Arts Catalyst
- Dancers on the Russian
parabolic trainer aircraft experiencing microgravity
50 Years of Exploration
NASA site for a book with samples of the art sponsored
by the agency since 1960s. NASA/ART (2008,
Abrams, October; 176 pages; 150 full color illustrations)
by Art Program Founder James Dean and Program Curator
Bertram Ulrich. Amazon
Official Art Gallery
NASA has commissioned over 200 artists over the past
30 years to document the course of space exploration.
Now includes over 800 works of art in the NASA archive
plus 2000 pieces donated to the Smithsonian Air &
The Stanford Solar Center displays the work of several
artists who have been inspired by scientific studies
of the sun to create wonderful works of art (and also
Voyager - Space Art on the Web
Gallery site that highlights the work of several space
artists. Maintained by Dave Jones, Solar Voyager strives
to become "the most diverse collection of space
art available on the internet today and have great
involvement from the artists hosted on the site."
Space inspired sculptures, glass-works, and other 3-D
Window at the Washington National Cathedral ,
formally called the "Scientists and Technicians
Window", to commemorate "America’s exploration
of space and man’s first steps on the moon".
It includes a "7.18-gram basalt lunar rock from
the Sea of Tranquility" embedded in the beautiful
stained glass display.
Cosmosphere Stain-glass memorial
For the Cosmosphere's rotunda, the museum commissioned
a "8x11 foot stained glass that commemorates
the seventeen fallen United States astronauts.
The stained glass was constructed over eighteen
months by nineteen artists at Rayer’s Bearden
Stained Glass Supply in Wichita , Kansas"
Space Illustrations/Magazine & Book Covers
Illustrations for both science fact and science fiction
publications, especially books and magazines covers,
have been a major source of income for space artists
for over a century. Here are some resources devoted
to this type of art.
Archive - the proprietor of the site "was given
several large containers of pulp Sci-Fi publications
from the 50s-70s" and is committed to "scanning them
and posting at least one a day to the pulp archive."
This book by David A. Hardy
with a forword by Arthur C. Clarke this book traces the
history of space art and displays the work of 75 artists.
Published by Paper Tiger/Dragon's World. Out of print
but can be found in used book stores on line and off.
"...The object of the I.A.A.A., as a nonprofit
foundation is to implement and participate in astronomical
and space-art projects, to promote education about
astronomical art, and to foster further international
cooperation in artistic work inspired by the exploration
of the universe."- from the IAAA Manifesto.
".. aims to make visible the work of artists,
writers, composers and others interested in the exploration
of outer space. We also aim to help establish contact
between artists, scientists and engineers interested
in working together on space art projects." -
Leonardo website at MIT.
"... introduce, nurture and expand a cultural
dimension to humanity's astronautical endeavors. This
task will be manifested through the identification,
investigation, support and realization of related
cultural, astronautical, humanitarian, environmental
and educational activities which may take place both
on and off planet Earth, and which are deemed as beneficial
to the development and advancement of human civilization
in this new environment." - OURS home page.
OURS has organized numerous activities such as the
Ad Astra space art exhibit on the MIR space station
: Art & Science Collaborations - "to
raise public awareness about artists and scientists
using science and technology to explore new forms
of creative expression, and to increase communication
and collaborations between these fields."
- This is a collaborative
art project that is dedicated to Mars. Inspired
in particular by Robert Zubrin's The Case for Mars,
the project sees Mars exploration both as a space
project and as a wonderful inspiration to artists.
Contributions include not only graphic arts but also
sculpture, poetry, theatre, etc. West-to-Mars
Art in Space
- Dancers on the Russian
parabolic trainer aircraft experiencing microgravity
Some art has
now been taken to space and more trips are planned.
These have been for both symbolic and practical purposes.
Garriott on ISS
During his visit on the ISS during Oct.14-23, 2008,
Richard Garriott planned a number of space art related
activities, including the display of a selection of
artworks brought with him and the creation of artworks
of his own.
Burgess "created the first official Non-Scientific
Payload, the "Boundless Cubic Lunar Aperture", taken
into outer space by NASA in March of 1989". Burgess
is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University.
With his Life in Space project, Azam created
in 2008 a triptych of paintings during weightlessness
periods aboard a Russian ILYUSHIN 76 MDK aircraft flying
a series of parabolas. He later sold one of the paintings
The Fallen Astronaut - 1972 - "a small
figurine by Dutch artist Paul Van Hoeydonk sent and
left on the Moon on Apollo 15 as part of an astronaut's
Boundless Cubic Lunar Aperture - 1989 -Lowry
Burgess created this "conceptual artwork including
holograms and cubes made from all the elements known
to science, which flew on the space shuttle as a self
contained non-scientific payload" Arts
Hirst on Mars
The European Mars
Express mission to Mars in 2003 involved an orbiter
vehicle that released a separate module called Beagle
2 that was suppose to land on the surface.
To help calibrate the lander camera, it carried along
a painting by the artist Damien
Hirst. The artist, who had won the prestigous Turner
prize with a colorful "dot" style painting,
worked with the imager's scientists to create a similar
work with carefully chosen colors and materials to insure
that the camera would have a good metric to obtain the
true Martian colors.
This would have been the first human work of art to
be placed on the surface of another world. Unfortunately,
the Beagle 2 did not land safely on the surface and
the lander mission failed.
Susan Collins, director of the Tate in Space program,
has informed me that the ETALAB
- Extra-Terrestrial Architecture Laboratory is "one
of three architectural practices invited to propose
models for a new Tate in Space as part of the Tate in
The ISADORA Module
Richard Seabra led this effort to add an arts module
to the International Space Station. Visual artists,
dancers, filmmakers, artisans, and other creative people
would visit the station to experience Space and communicate
their impressions to the world in their own unique way.
[Read my suggestions for artistic creations in space
in the Future
section. - Ed.]
"high-tech, art-science project designed by
Slovenian artist Marko Peljhan and managed by the
Projekt Atol Institute. It is a temporary sustainable
laboratory designed to support 4 - 6 artists and scientists
working and living alongside each other in isolation
for periods of up to 120 days." - Arts
Other Projects and Concepts
The Last Pictures - Trevor Paglen led this
project that placed an archival disk with 100 photos
onto a satellite placed into geostationary orbit.
& Crafts in Micrgravity - A proposal
from HobbySpace for using
the advantages of microgravity to create beautiful
and fascinating artworks.
This is a relatively newly defined category of space
art that involves handmade items with space themes.
While 2-D art works (paintings, drawings, etc.) can
be included, the focus here is on assembled creations
such as a shirt with an original space print on it,
a stuffed space shuttle pillow, a rocket pendant, etc.
posterous - Jen Scheer's blog - "Former Space
Shuttle technician moving on. Artist, photographer,
inventor, Space Tweep Society founder, Yuri’s Night
& Fragile Oasis contributor, Rocketopia CEO"
... launch "Space Craft," a contest where
entrants share an original handmade item or work
of art inspired by NASA and NASA's programs, such
as the Space Shuttle Program and human spaceflight,
aeronautics, science and exploration of the universe.
Contestants can enter two-dimensional original art
(painting, drawing, prints, mixed media, photographic,
and computer generated prints). Three-dimensional
entries, including wearable art and soft sculptures,
also may be entered.
"Loosely based on the Spider and Jeanne
Robinson’s series of novels, Stardance (Dial Press
1979), Starseed (Ace Books 1991) and Starmind
(Ace Books 1995). The story follows astronaut
Treya Anderson, a full time maintenance worker
on a space station orbiting earth in the not too
distant future. Both a dancer and an engineer,
she chose science and space over a career in dance,
but now, circumstances and opportunity will combine
to allow her to merge her two passions into transcendent
art with cosmic consequences."
Aurora 2001 - "..evening-length work of dance,
music and visual presentation about the mystic luminaries
of the Arctic and Antarctic skies, the northern and
Theatre in Arlington, Virginia performed in 2006
a space inspired childrens play called Galactika.
"In collaboration with NASA, Classika-Synetic Theatre
has put together a show filled with dance, pantomime
and learning. Reporter Halley Comet takes kids on
a tour through the galaxy, encountering planets, stars
and nebulas." See the Washington
NASA Glenn Research Center "was a collaborating
partner for a ballet choreographed by Mr. Jeffrey
Graham Hughes, Artistic Director of the Ohio Ballet,
to the music of Gustav Holst’s The Planets.
It was presented in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, in
February of 2000." (See poster image above.)
The company dancEvert
collaborated on aeronautical themed work in 2006 called
A similar theme was in a work in 2003 called Wild
Blue Yonder from the choreographer Elizabeth Streb.
From Mercury to the most recent shuttle
flight, the astronauts on every mission wore a unique
patch designed by the crew. A patch symbolically describes
the mission objectives.
When a mission is first assigned, a member
of each crew, typically a first time astronaut, becomes
the lead contact with the NASA Graphics Division. He
or she communicates the ideas of the whole crew to a
graphics programmer who constructs a computer image
for the patch. Once approved by the crew, the patches
are made by authorized manufacturers.
Besides US manned missions, patches are
also available for Soviet/Russian missions and for many
unmanned/commercial spacecraft missions.
Collecting patches has become a popular
hobby. They have high artistic merit and offer an interesting
approach to learning the history of space exploration.
Astronomers, amateur and professional, often make sketches
of what they are seeing in their telescopes, e.g. lunar
or planetary features, for both enjoyment and future
reference. Here are some astronomers showing their sketches:
"The maker, Sarah Ellen Harding, was born
in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1847, and married Marion
Baker of Cedar County, Iowa, on October 10, 1867.
They lived in Cedar County until 1878, then moved
to Johnson County where Marion had a general merchandise
business in Lone Tree. Ellen had seven children
before she died of tuberculosis in the spring
of 1886. The design of Ellen's striking and unusual
quilt resembles illustrations in astronomy books
of the period. Ellen used the quilt as a visual
aid for lectures she gave on astronomy in the
towns of West Branch, Moscow, and Lone Tree, Iowa.
Astronomy was an acceptable interest for women
in the 19th century, and was sometimes even fostered
in their education."
Hardyware: The Art of David A. Hardy
C. Morgan, S. Baxter, D. A. Hardy- 2001
" A retrospective of the life and work of David
A Hardy, the world's longest-established space artist, and a former President
of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA)"
The Art of
Ron Miller, Frederick C. Durant III - 2001
Finally a book with a broad selection of Bonestell's
glorious space art. Bonestell's marvelous visions of space helped prepare
the public of the 1940s and '50s for the space age and continue to inspire
Visions of Spaceflight : Images
from the Ordway Collection
Frederick Ordway - 2001