Apollo’s Muse: The Moon in the Age of Photography – The Met

Moon Landing
Astronauts-Apollo-11

Apollo 11 Astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins courtesy NASA

Apollo’s Muse: The Moon in the Age of Photography is an exciting new exhibition at The Met Fifth Avenue, New York, beginning on July 3, 2019.  It will be sure to capture the attention of all the adventure loving enthusiasts out there, some of whom were around, like me, when the first step of man onto the silvery surface took place.

2016.321.2.1

Systematic Photographic Map of the Moon, Increasing and Decreasing Phases,1899–1909, published 1914 Charles Le Morvan (1865-1933 Paris), Image: 12 5/8 in. × 10 in. (32.1 × 25.4 cm), courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Celebrating fifty years since that all male monumental giant leap forward for mankind, the exhibition will seek to explore representations of the moon from the dawn of photography in 1839, until that unforgettable day in July 20, 1969, when those brave Apollo astronauts first landed and then as Neil Armstrong stepped out onto the moon.

Also on show will be the art created in the wake of the 1969 Moon landing through to the present day, including works by Nancy Graves (1940–1995), Aleksandra Mir (born 1967), Nam June Paik (1932–2006), and Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008) as a highlight.

On display will be more than 170 photographs, together with a selection of drawings, prints, paintings, films, video art, astronomical instruments, and cameras all of which are related to, or were used by the original Apollo astronauts.

Moon Shot Photo Shoot

Moon Shot Photo Shoot courtesy NASA

Silvery Moon South Yarra

Silvery Moon in South Yarra, Melbourne 2019

The exhibition will bring the more current generations up to date with all the facts of the original moon landing and the newest attempt, which will be taking place on the back of an announcement by NASA recently.

2020 is when astronauts are planned to return to the Moon for the first time in half a century, with the program containing some eight scheduled launches and a mini-station in lunar orbit by 2024.

The Artemis expeditions to the moon have been named for the twin sister in Greek mythology of the so-called golden sun God Apollo.

Artemis was the Goddess of the Hunt who in mythology, was given the moon for eternity by their father Zeus because she admired its silvery light.

Apollo 2

John Adams Whipple, (American, 1822–1891), James Wallace Black, (American, 1825–1896), The Moon, 1857–60. Salted paper print from glass negative, 8 7/16 x 6 5/16 in. (21.4 x 16 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Robert O. Dougan Collection, Gift of Warner Communications Inc., 1981

Highlights will include two newly discovered lunar daguerreotypes from the 1840s, believed to be the earliest photographs of the moon in existence.

Other works include those by pioneers of lunar photography including Warren De La Rue (1815–1889), Lewis Morris Rutherfurd (1816–1892), and John Adams Whipple (1822–1891).

A photographic atlas of the moon, produced at the Paris Observatory 1894 – 1908 by astronomers Maurice Loewy (1833–1907) and Pierre Puiseux (1855–1928), will be showcased alongside fancifully imagined depictions of future space travel and life on the moon.

George Méliès’s (1861–1938) original drawings for his fantastic film A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage dans la lune, 1902) will be sure to delight.

A large selection of “paper moon” studio portraits from the early 20th century and otherworldly effects of moonlight created by the camera will feature in major works by German Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) and American Pictorialist photographer Edward Steichen (1879-1973) who captured advances in rocket science during the twentieth century.

Garry Winogrand, (American, 1928–1984), Apollo 11 Moon Shot, Cape Kennedy, Florida, 1969. Gelatin silver print, 10 3/4 x 15 7/8 in. (27.3 x 40.4 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Vital Projects Fund Inc. Gift, through Joyceand Robert Menschel, 2014 © The Estate of Garry Winogrand, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

Garry Winogrand, (American, 1928–1984), Apollo 11 Moon Shot, Cape Kennedy, Florida, 1969. Gelatin silver print, 10 3/4 x 15 7/8 in. (27.3 x 40.4 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Vital Projects Fund Inc. Gift, through Joyceand Robert Menschel, 2014 © The Estate of Garry Winogrand, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

The Cold War space race of the 1960s ushered in a whole new phase of lunar exploration with Soviet and American space programs rivalling each other at first, but then culminating in the joint crewed missions of the later Apollo program.

Buz Aldrin catches Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong (American, 1930–2012). Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. Walks on the Surface of the Moon, Apollo 11, July 16-24 1969 (detail), 1969, printed later. Dye transfer print, 16 1/8 x 16 3/8 in. (41 x 41.6 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Alfred Stieglitz Society Gifts, 2017

Apollo’s Muse: The Moon in the Age of Photography will be organized by Mia Fineman, Curator in the Department of Photographs, with contributions by Beth Saunders, Curator and Head of Special Collections and Gallery, Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery, University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Of interest will be the introduction by American actor Tom Hanks, who is a lifelong space enthusiast. He has celebrated the legacy of Project Apollo in his professional life and as a documentary film producer, his From the Earth To The Moon Series, a must see in our family.

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2019

Apollo’s Muse: The Moon in the Age of Photography

July 3–September 22, 2019

The Met Fifth Avenue, Floor 2,  Galleries 691-93, The Charles Z. Offin Gallery, Karen B. Cohen Gallery, Harriette and Noel Levine Gallery; Gallery 851, Joyce and Robert Menschel Hall for Modern Photography; and Gallery 852, The Howard Gilman Gallery

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by the curators. The catalogue is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Related Programs

The exhibition will be accompanied by a variety of education programs, including Art and Space, a week-long art-making workshop in the galleries, led by artist Jessica Houston (July 8–12, 11–4 pm daily). Career Lab-Apollo’s Muse: Art and Space will invite teens to explore careers in the arts with creative professionals as part of the Museum’s Career Labs program (July 12, 5–6:30 pm). As part of The Met’s a Conversations With… series, exhibition curator, Mia Fineman, and research assistant, Virgnia McBride, will lead short conversations about and works in the exhibition in the Apollo’s Muse galleries (July 12, 6:30–8:30 pm).

MetFridays-Moon Gazing with the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York will offer visitors the chance to observe and explore the summer sky with the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York and telescopes will be provided for a guided viewing from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden (July 12, 6:30–8:30 pm). To coincide with the exhibition, the ETHEL and Friends Balcony Bar music series will invite Australian cabaret performer Kim David Smith, with music direction by Tracy Stark, to present an intimate evening of performances inspired by the moon, celestial bodies, and lunar landscapes (July 27, 5–8 pm).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.