6 Art and Design Exhibitions Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11
On July 20, 1969, half a billion viewers around the world watched as astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the moon. This year marks the 50th anniversary of that momentous occasion, and Galerie has rounded up a number of ways to celebrate.
Kicking off the Apollo-related festivities is the reopening of the Apollo mission control center at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, which has just undergone a three-year, $5 million overhaul to turn it into a museum. The room had been abandoned in 1992, according to the New York Times, with all operations moved to a modernized mission control center elsewhere in the building. The room is now considered a museum piece, with every item meticulously researched from archival photographs.
Read on for the best lunar-themed exhibitions and design launches in celebration.
1. Matthew Day Jackson’s Kohlo furniture at Casa Perfect
Multidisciplinary artist Matthew Day Jackson has now turned to furniture design, developing a Formica surface that subtly echoes the surface of the moon in an artful new collection of table and chairs. Dubbed Kohlo, the collection is a result of a collaboration between Jackson, Finnish design manufacturer Made by Choice and the Formica Group. A similar edition was presented during Milan Design Week earlier this year, and the collection is now on view at New York design gallery Casa Perfect this month. There will also be a “tie-dyed” stoneware dining collection by Laura Seymour. The debut at Casa Perfect will coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch, which took place on July 16, 1969.
When: July 17 through August
Where: Casa Perfect New York, 8 St. Luke’s Place, New York
2. Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion at the Brooklyn Museum
The excitement of space travel was a major inspiration for the legendary French couturier Pierre Cardin, whose bold, futuristic looks defined the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s. Timed with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo landing, this retrospective covers seven decades of his work and features 170 objects spanning couture, ready to wear, and accessories as well as his lesser-known foray into furniture and industrial design.
When: July 20–January 5, 2020
Where: Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn
3. Space Exploration auction at Sotheby’s
Sotheby’s is holding a pair of auctions to coincide with 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 lunar landing. Omega Speedmaster: To the Moon and Back on July 19 will offer a selection of incredible Speedmaster watches, the official watch of NASA since 1965. Meanwhile, on July 20, the Space Exploration auction features the best surviving NASA videotape recordings of the Apollo 11 moon landing, which represent the earliest, sharpest, and most accurate surviving video images of man’s first steps on the moon; it is on offer for $1 to $2 million.
When: July 20
Where: Sotheby’s, 1334 York Avenue, New York
4. Apollo’s Muse: The Moon in the Age of Photography at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
The groundbreaking moment when the Apollo 11 mission beamed the first television footage of American astronauts on the moon influenced the history of images. To celebrate the 50th anniversary, the New York institution showcases some of those visual representations of the moon from the dawn of photography through the present. Expect more than 170 photographs together with a selection of related drawings, prints, paintings, films, video art, astronomical instruments, and cameras used by Apollo astronauts.
When: Through September 22
Where: The Met Fifth Avenue, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York
5. Shooting the Moon: Photographs from the Museum’s Collection 50 Years after Apollo 11 at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston
This installation features 40 photographs, from imaginative 19th-century images with a lunar theme to modern masterpieces such as Ansel Adams’s classic Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico.
When: July 20–September 2
Where: Museum of Fine Arts, 1001 Bissonnet, Houston
6. To the Moon at the Museum of Natural History
An unprecedented virtual realty experience that commemorates the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 is on view at the American Museum of Natural History from July 20. Curated by artist Laurie Anderson and cocreator Hsin-Chien Huang, the 15-minute experience utilizes images and tropes from Greek mythology to politics to create an imaginary new version of the moon. Other activities include a digital re-creation of the lunar landing and talks with astrophysicists.
When: July 20–28
Where: American Museum of Natural History,Central Park West and 79th Street, New York