Launching the Future: Looking Back to Look Forward
September 30, 2022 - March 1, 2023
NAS Building, 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W., West Gallery
Free. Photo ID and proof of up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination are required. Masks are optional.
Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays; closed weekends and holidays. No reservation required. Closed Feb. 20.
Space exploration has inspired artists since its very beginning. The NASA Art Program began in 1962 with the recruitment of eight artists to view a rocket launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Artists from various disciplines were given the opportunity to observe and do what they do best: to reveal the humanity that underlies the extraordinary technical achievement of space exploration. The artists had free creative reign and carried their sketchpads into the white room (where astronauts make their final preparations before launch), onto the grassy shores of the launch viewing area, and into NASA’s labs to show the world the beauty and wonder of the science and engineering taking place. With their talents and ingenuity, these artists took an endeavor that could seem so distant from everyday life and made it human and emotionally resonant.
The exhibition features 16 works by artists including Andy Warhol, Kehinde Wiley, Nam June Paik, William Wegman, Annie Leibovitz, Dan Namingha, and Robert Rauschenberg.
The exhibition is organized by the NASA Art Program and sponsored by Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences
Pictured: Andy Warhol, Moonwalk (1), 1987, silkscreen print, 37.5 x 37.5 inches