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The charme of the moon has seduced all human beings, since the night of time

Neil Armstrong, NASA Apollo 11. Buzz Aldrin Walking on the Surface of the Moon near a Leg of the Lunar Module (detail), 1969. Chromogenic print. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Mary and Dan Solomon, 2016 (2016.796.24).

The charm of the moon has seduced all human beings, since the night of time

But only with the advent of photography did we get a clear picture of our favorite celestial Planet.

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of that landing, this exhibition 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.

Apollo’s Muse: The Moon in the Age of Photography: alongside scientific achievements, artists exploited photography's optical realism to create convincing illusions of space travel, life on the moon, and the otherworldly effects of moonlight here on earth and, in its five galleries, on show we can see detailed sketches and photos of the moon in all its moods — waxing, waning, eclipsing the sun — , video clips, paintings, postcards, an 1840 daguerreotype by an Englishman named John Draper, are on show until September 22 at the Metropolitan Museum, Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street

Antoine-François-Jean Claudet, Daguerrotype 1846–52, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Fund, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2019

Advances in rocket science and the Cold War space race of the 1960s ushered in a new phase of lunar exploration. Soviet and American spacecraft photographed the moon's rugged terrain at close range, scouting potential landing sites for their crewed missions. The final section of the exhibition (across the hall, in Gallery 851) features art created in the wake of the 1969 moon landing, as well as the visions of a new generation of artists exploring the legacy of lunar photography.


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