For All Mankind: Vintage NASA Photographs 1964 - 1983
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Text by The picturesque blur of a rocket launch. The surreal isolation of an orbiting satellite. The dreamy crest of a turning moon. These are but a few of the gorgeous images hidden in the depths of NASA’s photographic archives. Thanks to a new exhibit at London’s Breese Little gallery, however, we can finally feast upon the visual beauty previously beyond our reach.
The show — “For all Mankind“ — boasts over 100 vintage photographs from NASA’s past, spanning the sixties to the eighties. Taken by men, women and machines over a 20-year period, the images illuminate the retro splendor of Gemini missions, the Mars Viking and the Jupiter Voyager, among other feats of space travel.
“The ennobling rhetoric employed by JFK to launch the American space program has been superseded by a new reality,” Breese Little notes in the exhibition description, referring to the dawn of the space tourism industry and the commercialization of galactic dreams. “Despite this, the exploration of space is undoubtedly one of the single most important endeavors in humanity’s quest for self-knowledge.”
Contemporary video diaries from void-bound astronauts are certainly impressive, but there’s something about a washed-out portrait of a distant planet that stirs the inner art-meets-science admirer in us all.