New! Get Some Space In Your Place With Our New Editions
The last few weeks we've turned our eyes heavenward, contemplating the complex relationship between us and the universe above. We've only been able to experience this unique viewpoint through the eyes—and camera lenses!—of the brave men and women who venture out into the cosmos, and it is those people we celebrate with today's double release: Earthrise and Gemini IV: Spacewalk I (S65-34635).
Viewing Earth from space means that all of human history, all of civilization as we know it, appears as a "big blue marble." How small we must seem—and yet too, how fragile and beautiful. This perspective is one we may never get ourselves, but thanks to NASA's astronauts and archivers, we have the chance to take in the universe.
When it comes to famous images of space, Earthrise is easily in the top ten, but it's hard for this beautiful picture to lose its impact. Taken by Bill Anders on the Apollo 8 mission—just a year before Apollo 11 landed on the moon—this photo has been called the "most influential environmental photo ever taken." The switch in perspective—watching the earth rise the way we'd watch the sun—certainly caught the astronauts by surprise (you can actually listen to them as they first see the earth floating outside their window, and even watch a simulation of the event!)
The conversation around space travel in the 1960s tends to center around the first moon landing in 1969. But lately, the news has been focused on another incredible event: the first spacewalk, which took place four years earlier (and celebrates its 50th anniversary in just two weeks!). The first American to complete a spacewalk was Ed White, pictured here in Gemini IV: Spacewalk I (S65-34635). He described the moment of returning to the spacecraft as the "saddest moment of my life." Of the many images taken of White on this mission, we loved this one best: the Gemini IV spacecraft and the curvature of the earth reflected in his golden helmet, his right hand flung out as if to say, "Welcome to the universe."
These images remind us not only of the importance of history, but also how beautiful and artistic it can be. So take one small step toward the exploration of the cosmos, and one giant leap for art...
With art for everyone,