Vintage NASA Photographs Are a Real Blast from the Past

Buzz Aldrin's visor reflects Armstrong, Apollo 11, July 1969It's been over 50 years since President Kennedy declared that the United States will put a man on the moon, and a lot of exciting advancements in space exploration have taken place since then. A new exhibition at the London art gallery Breese Little titled For All Mankind: Vintage NASA Photographs 1964 – 1983 features over 100 rare photographs that span nearly 20 years of the program. Many of these pretty commonplace artifacts are from the NASA archives directly and taken by the men, women, and machines directly involved with their missions. During their journey, some awe-inspiring moments were captured, including the world's first picture of the Earth taken from the vicinity of the Moon (December, 1966), the first Earthrise witnessed by human eyes (1968), and the first moon landing in 1969.

The vintage photographs on display showcase the golden age of space travel. NASA dipped in popularity at the end of the 1970's until the early 2000's. However, exploration into the great unknown is regaining popularity with achievements like the successful 2012 landing of Curiosity Rover on Mars, and with companies like Virgin Galactic that for $250,000, will train a private citizen to travel to space.

Works included in For All Mankind are the dawn of our quest to know what lies beyond. As Stephen Hawking writes in his book A Brief History of Time, “Today we still yearn to know why we are here and where we came from. Humanity's deepest desire for knowledge is justification enough for our continuing quest. And our goal is nothing less than a complete description of the universe we live in.” As time passes and advancements in technology and travel are made, these photographs illustrate the spark that started it all.

Apollo 11 lift-off seen from the top of the launch gantry, Apollo 11, July 1969

David Scott climbs out of the Command Module, Apollo 9, March 1969

James McDivitt, Ed White walking in space, Gemini 4, June 1965

ugene Cernan and the antenna on the Rover, Apollo 17, December 1972

Earthrise, the first ever witnessed by human eyes, Apollo 8, December 1968

Crescent Earth from 10,000 miles, Apollo 4, November 1967

Jupiter and its satellite Io, Voyager 2, June 1979

Saturn, Voyager 1, 1980

Eclipse of the Sun by the Earth, Apollo 12, November 1969

Breese Little website
via [Fast Company]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content