NASA Art Program

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The NASA Art Program was established in 1962. NASA administrator James Webb sent a memo regarding involving artists to help tell the agency’s story as the United States began the space race.[1] Artists, including Norman Rockwell, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol were commissioned to record the history of space exploration through the eyes of artists. The first director of the Art Program was James Dean (NASA).[2] Using artists of different mediums and genres serves the purpose of educating different audiences about NASA and space exploration.[3] To give the artists the best experience possible, NASA allowed them unprecedented access to sites and materials. Participants were present at suit-up, launch sites, and press releases.[2] All works, from sketches to finished products, were given to NASA for use in museums and exhibitions.[4] The collection now includes 2,500 works by more than 350 artists.

Noted artists[edit]


  • Bertram Ulrich — Curator
  • Robert Schulman — Director, NASA Art Program, (1975 - 1994)[7][8]
  • James Dean (NASA) — Founding Director, NASA Art Program, 1962-1974

Selected Bibliography[edit]

  • Visions of Flight: a retrospective from the NASA Art Collection; Schulman, Robert; National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington D.C; 1988
  • Artistry of Space: the NASA art program; James Dean, Robert Schulman, Bertram Ulrich; Artrain USA, Ann Arbor, MI; 1999
  • NASA & the Exploration of Space : with works from the NASA art collection; Roger D Launius, Bertram Ulrich; Stewart, Tabori & Chang; New York, NY; 1998


  1. ^ "Soaring: Works from the NASA Art Program, Celebrating NASA Langley's Centennial Anniversary". Peninsula Fine Arts Center. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b Bert, Ulrich. "NASA and the Arts".
  3. ^ Meier, Allison. "Art in the Outer Limits: A Look at NASA's Space Art Program". Hyperallergic. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  4. ^ Goodyear, Anne Collins. "The Relationship of Art to Science and Technology in the United States, 1957-1971: Five Case Studies".
  5. ^ Fox, Margalit. "Paul Calle, Postage Stamp Designer, Is Dead at 82", The New York Times, December 31, 2010. Accessed December 31, 2010.
  6. ^ Cooke, Hereward Lester (1972). Eyewitness to Space. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. p. 227.
  7. ^ Schmid, Beth (September 29, 1988). "NASA's Art Program Captures What the Camera Can't". NASA Magazine (Spring 1992): 11–17. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  8. ^ Schulman, Robert (1988). Visions of flight : a retrospective from the NASA Art Collection. United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). p. 3. Retrieved 1 October 2018.

External links[edit]