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On July 20, 1969, half a billion viewers around the world watched as the first television footage of American astronauts on the moon was beamed back to earth—a thrilling turning point in the history of images, satisfying an age-old curiosity about our planet’s only natural satellite. To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, this captivating volume surveys the role photography has played in the scientific study and artistic interpretation of the moon from the dawn of the medium to the present, highlighting not only stunning photographic works but also related prints, drawings, paintings, and astronomical instruments.
Apollo’s Muse traces the history of lunar photography, from newly discovered daguerreotypes of the 1840s to contemporary film and video works. Along the way, it explores nineteenth century efforts to map the lunar surface, whimsical fantasies of life on the moon, the visual language of the Cold War space race, and work created in response to the moon landing by artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Nancy Graves, and Aleksandra Mir. A delightful introduction by Tom Hanks, star of the award winning 1995 film Apollo 13, delves into the universal fascination with representations of the cosmos and the ways in which space travel has radically expanded the limits of human vision.