The Artist Looks at Space
Dozens of America's artists were invited by NASA Administrator James E. Webb to record the strange new world of space. Although an intensive use of photography had long characterized NASA's work, the Agency recognized the special ability of the artist's eye to select and interpret what might go unseen by the literal camera lens.
No civilian government agency had ever sponsored as comprehensive and unrestricted an art program before. A sampling of the many paintings and drawings that resulted is presented among those featured in these Web pages.
The space shuttle paintings appeared in the NASA publication SOCIAL SCIENCES AND SPACE EXPLORATION (EP-192) which was issued in November of 1984. The paintings were a result of the NASA Art Program. "The NASA Art Program uses the medium of fine art to document America's space program for 'the expansion of human knowledge of phenomena in the atmosphere and space...for the benefit of all mankind." (National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958.)
The Advanced Space Exploration Art works were not part of the official NASA Art Program. They are paintings commissioned by NASA for various calendars, posters, and printed publications.
The NASA SPACE ART HOMEPAGE was created and adapted from official NASA publications by Jerry Woodfill, NASA, Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas. The on-line publication is part of the SPACE EDUCATORS' HANDBOOK which is officially designated as OMB / NASA Report No. S677.