Art Showcase

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The Art of Mort Künstler / The American Spirit / The Space Age

Here you will find a pictorial chronicle of the drama and excitement of American History. These paintings give the viewer an insight into the tumultuous life of this young nation that mere words cannot achieve.

Giant Leap for Mankind

Historical Information

As long as mankind has been gazing at the stars, there have been those who have dreamt of travelling to them. While technology lagged behind, imagination looked to the future. Man would finally reach the moon in 1969; Jules Verne had predicted their arrival in his 1865 fantasy From the Earth to the Moon . The so-called “Race to the Moon” between the United States and the Soviet Union began in October 1957 with the successful launching of the soviet satellite Sputnik I and culminated on July 16, 1969 when astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin, Jr., and Michael Collins piloted the US Spacecraft Apollo XI into the moon’s orbit. Landing in the lunar module Eagle , astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin spent some twenty-one hours on the moon’s surface itself, collecting soil and rock samples for analysis back home. Millions of miles away, Americans watching on their television sets, could look with pride as the astronauts raised an American flag and placed a plaque signed by the crew and President Nixon that read; “Here men from the planet earth first set foot upon the moon July 1969, AD. We came in peace for all mankind.” Although there have been many more manned flights to the moon, unmanned flights to Mars - some 212 million miles from earth - and beyond to Saturn and Jupiter, and most recently the spectacular space shuttle flights, the pride and emotions raised by the 1969 Moon Landing remained unmatched. The dream of centuries was fulfilled…and by Americans.

Mort Künstler's Comments

“With this painting I had to confront the problem of over-familiarity. Most people know the scene very well from the outstanding photographs and news coverage that surrounded the moon landing. By showing both astronauts at once, I eliminated any similarity to the photographs of the period while I presented a new and different viewpoint.”

This painting is available as a Fabric Panel. click here.


All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2022. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.