Apr 26

Navy Art and the Space Program

Monday, April 26, 2010 1:00 AM


Last year, the Navy Art Collection created an exhibit entitled “From Space to Sea: the Navy’s Role in Manned Space Flight” to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the first man to land on the moon. The exhibit highlights the Navy’s contribution to the space program. Some astronauts were naval officers, but the Navy also supplied ships and helicopter squadrons used in recovery of astronauts and equipment, and UDT frogmen who were the first to reach capsules after splashdown. This exhibition highlights all aspects of the Navy’s involvement of our national journey into manned space.

Gemini 11 Spacecraft Recovery By Gene Klebe, Watercolor, 1966, Navy Art Collection 88-162-N

Crewmembers from USS GUAM stand on deck to watch the recovery of command module of Gemini 11. The splashdown occurred only 2.7 miles from the recovery aircraft carrier.

 The exhibition includes 33 pieces of art, from various artists including Paul Ortlip, Everett Raymond Kinstler and Cliff Young. On the spot drawings, watercolors of equipment and manpower, portraits of astronauts and paintings of important events make up the images featured in the exhibition. This exhibit will be coming down in the next month. Please stop by the Navy Art Gallery, located on the Washington Navy Yard, Building 67, Washington, DC.

Recovered Apollo 11 Module, USS HORNET, By Cliff Young, Oil Painting, 1969, Navy Art Collection 88-163-AM

After the astronauts were safely on board USS HORNET, the ship traveled to pick up the 5 ton command module, at which point the boat and aircraft crane was used to bring the module up to the starboard aircraft elevator. The floatation collar was removed and the module was placed on a dolly near the mobile quarantine facility for removal of the lunar rocks and transfer to Johnson Space Center.