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The Art of Mort Künstler / The Gallery Store / Limited Edition Prints / Celebrate America /

Celebrate America with these classic Mort Künstler images.

Launch of Space Shuttle Columbia – limited edition print
12 April 1981, 7:00:10 EST, John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Signature Canvas Signed & Numbered - $550.00

Signature Canvas Signed Artist's Proof - $675.00

Classic Canvas Signed & Numbered - $725.00

Classic Canvas Signed Artist's Proof - $905.00

Premier Canvas Signed & Numbered, Unstretched - $995.00

Premier Canvas Signed Artist's Proof, Unstretched - $1,250.00

Collector's Canvas Signed & Numbered, Unstretched - $2,995.00

Collector's Canvas Signed Artist's Proof, Unstretched - $3,495.00


The PREMIER and COLLECTOR'S editions ship FREE and UNSTRETCHED. Stretching is available at an additional charge.
Please contact us for pricing: 800-850-1776 or

Custom framing is available for this print. Please call 800-850-1776 or email for more information.

Giclée Canvas Prints
Reproduction technique: Giclées are printed with the finest archival pigmented inks on canvas.
Each print is numbered and signed by the artist and accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

Signature Edition 27" x 18"
Signed & Numbered • Edition Size: 100
Signed Artist's Proof • Edition Size: 10

Classic Edition 36” x 24”
Signed & Numbered • Edition Size: 100
Signed Artist’s Proof • Edition Size: 10

Premier Edition 42” x 28”
Signed & Numbered • Edition Size: 15
Signed Artist’s Proof • Edition Size: 5

Collector's Edition 51” x 34”
Signed & Numbered • Edition Size: 5
Signed Artist’s Proof • Edition Size: 2

About this Painting
In 1979 Mort Kunstler was selected to be the official Space Shuttle Artist by its prime contractor, Rockwell International. He was commissioned to paint NASA's initial space shuttle Columbia, from design to launch. For nearly two years Mort received privileged access to Rockwell's facilities and development teams. He witnessed a rocket test, the launch, touchdown, and came to know Astronauts John Young and Bob Crippen. The seven original paintings and 21 sketches were unveiled in 1981 at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts' An American Adventure exhibit. The exhibit travelled to other Rockwell plant cities, and other exhibits followed. From 2014 through 2016 two of the paintings, "The Launch" and "Touchdown" were part of the traveling exhibit Mort Künstler: The Art of Adventure curated by the Norman Rockwell Museum.

Mort Künstler's Comments
“The tension surrounding the launch of this space shuttle was tremendous. At launch, the five engines were fired simultaneously, creating a torrent of thrust of almost seven million pounds. First a huge cloud of smoke shot up from the launch pad, then the flames, brighter than the sun. It took a few seconds for the sound to reach us, but when it did it was absolutely overwhelming. It felt like an earthquake - the ground even trembled - and we were more than two miles away! Altogether, it was an incredible moment, one of the most exciting experiences of my life.”

The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts opened a major retrospective exhibit of Künstler’s art in November 2014, including many of his Men’s Adventure art. Mort Künstler: The Art of Adventure, had over 80 pieces from early childhood through his most recent works. This traveling exhibit went to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Virginia, the Citadelle Art Foundation in Canadian, Texas, and the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook, New York.

Date Created: 1981

Medium: Oil on canvas

Image Size: 60" x 40"


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.