From the Earth to the Moon: Vintage NASA Photographs
of the first voyages beyond our Home Planet
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London -A selection of prints from a previously unseen private collection of vintage photographs by NASA's pioneering astronauts, taken in space and on the Moon, are currently on exhibition in London at Mallett Antiques before the full collection goes under the hammer on Thursday 26th February at Bloomsbury Auctions in London.
After each mission NASA released only a small proportion of the astronauts' photographs to the public and news media. The remainder were accessible only to accredited researchers in the archives of the Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, from where most of this exceptional collection is sourced. All the photographs wear the original NASA stamps, captions and identification numbers.
A New Look at the Moon
Sarah Wheeler, Head of Photographs at Bloomsbury Auctions said; "It's incredible to realise that many photographs in this auction were unknown to the general public for decades until the complete NASA photographic archive began to appear digitally on the internet. This is particularly true of the collection of mosaics, real boots-on-the-ground panoramas taken by the Apollo astronauts as they explored the lunar landscape. These spectacular images were pieced together from individual Hasselblad frames for internal use by NASA scientists. We know of no such collection ever having been offered at auction."
From the Earth to the Moon features photographs taken by the first American to orbit the Earth, John Glenn, who was also the first man to carry a camera into space, through to the last man on the Moon, Eugene Cernan. Cernan's portrait of Apollo 17 colleague, Harrison Schmitt, with the Earth above the US flag taken in December 1972, was described by Richard Underwood, the Apollo photographic supervisor, as; "One of the great photos ever to come out of the space program." Cernan, commander of the final lunar mission, said; "I captured the Earth, the Moon, the man and the country all in one. I'm proud of this picture."
Star lots also include the first 'selfie' taken in space, snapped by Buzz Aldrin during a 1966 EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity) and the personal photograph album of Ed White recording his spacewalk, performed on Gemini 4 in 1965, the first by an American. Other exceptional items include extremely rare large-format photographs specially produced by NASA for presentation.
Sarah Wheeler, Head of Photographs at Bloomsbury Auctions said; "These photographs are more than merely documentary, many are simply sublime. They represent a golden age in the history of photography as well, when a few men went to the unknown to bring back awe-inspiring pictures. The view of the first Earthrise over the lunar horizon changed Man's relationship with the cosmos forever."
All the photographs in the sale are vintage, printed shortly after they were taken, on high-quality Kodak paper, with estimates ranging from £300 to £10,000.
Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions are a UK 'top 5' auctioneer of fine art and collectibles. As part of Stanley Gibbons we are the only UK stock-exchange listed firm of auctioneers and occupy the same stable as coin specialists Baldwin's, and Frasers Autograph's. Established in 1759, we have the broadest and most regular calendar of specialist catalogued sales in the industry, numbering over 150 per annum, and provide vendors and buyers alike access to market-leading specialist advice in any number of collecting fields. We operate from salerooms in Donnington Priory (near Newbury), London's Mayfair, Bristol and Godalming.
London - 2nd February 2015