The first and original photograph developed of Neil Armstrong’s Footprint on the Moon will be shown among a series of 40 declassified images retrieved from the agency’s museum as part of a private collection.
The month-long exhibition, entitled “Space—Time—Continuum” will be held at the Continuum residences in Miami Beach, through Nov. 24. The exhibit will show a hand-picked selection of 40 of NASA’s never-before-seen prints developed from its most famous and historic missions between 1955 and 1994. These include original images from the 1969 Apollo 11 mission that celebrates its 50 anniversary this year.
Images in the collection include the most infamous photograph taken by Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins, of Neil Armstrong’s boot imprint after becoming the first to set foot on the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969. Each photograph in the collection includes the original typed description of the image by NASA on the back, the date the photograph was taken, the respective mission, together with a stamp of authenticity given by NASA administration. Additional images in the exhibit include the first photo taken of the earth from space by astronaut John Glenn; the earth from the moon’s surface (moon and earth in the same photo-frame), the Apollo 11 shuttle launch and the U.S astronauts boarding and landing from all the Apollo and Gemini missions. The original footprint-on-the-moon photograph taken by Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins is estimated to be worth around $15,000. Thousands of photos that were not framed by NASA over the decades are under lock-and-key at Rudolf Budja Gallery, and contained within several dozen binders that were used by NASA to preserve the integrity of each image.
“With this being the 50-Year Anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, we thought it more than appropriate to commemorate this monumental occasion with a world’s first exhibition of an historic nature,” says Keith Marks, board president of the Continuum North Tower. “Rudolf Budja Gallery has been our gallery-in-residence for a number of years, with notable art showcases enjoyed by our residents and guests alike. This will prove to be the most memorable to-date.”
Since the inception of NASA in the mid-fifties, more than 250 robotic spacecraft—and 24 humans—have ventured into space since the space agency first began exploring beyond Earth’s atmosphere in 1958. The 40 years of space travel catalogued in the collection includes a number of important exploratory milestones, including the first NASA launch of Pioneer 1 from Cape Canaveral in 1958; the launch of Friendship 7 with John Glenn as the first American to go in to orbit in 1962; Gemini 4 taking astronaut Ed White to perform the first American spacewalk in 1965; Apollo 8 carrying the first 3-man crew in to space in 1968; the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969; Apollo 14 sending NASA’s second astronaut, Alan Shepard, to the moon in 1971; the tragedy of the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986 and Space Shuttle Endeavour’s mission to complete the first three-person space walk in 1992.
“I’m looking forward to presenting a carefully chosen selection of the rarest photography from NASA’s photo archive that has never been seen before in public,” says Rudolf Budja. “We are all exposed to the most popular images of space travel, but no one outside of NASA has been able to witness the original film of images developed at the time of these historic missions. Over the last 12 months, I have combed through the entire archive – all 8,000 prints – to choose 40 of the most captivating photographs that tell the story of these enthralling four decades of astral achievement. I’ve learned the true meaning of how a picture really does say a thousand words.”
The “Space—Time—Continuum” exhibition will be shown until Nov. 24 at the Continuum, located at 50 South Pointe Drive in Miami Beach. Viewing appointments may be made through Rudolf Budja Gallery by calling 786-556-6685 or by emailing Budja@me.com.