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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Space Race artistically presented at exhibit

    Steve Nguyen/ The Daily Wildcat Apollo Soyuz Linkup is one of Robert McCall’s, an american artist, paintings that is in the University of Arizona’s Robert McCall exhibit. The painting was created in 1974.

    Robert T. McCall’s images of exploration have appeared on everything from puzzles and postage stamps to murals and the poster for “2001: A Space Odyssey,” and his work is now on display at the University of Arizona Museum of Art as part of the “An Unfolding Legacy” exhibit.

    An artist for Life magazine, McCall painted space-themed art for 60 years and also worked for NASA to artistically represent the Space Race.

    The combination of archival material from McCall’s life, his art and a display of what inspired him makes this current exhibit unique to the UA Museum of Art. The exhibit looks to give viewers a clearer perspective of McCall by presenting science-driven moments that inspired him to create his images.

    “We have his archival material; we have his sketchbooks, supply bags, work apron, the camera he carried around with him, which provide these indicators of who he was,” said Jill McCleary, the archivist at the museum and organizer of the McCall exhibit.

    The small but emblematic collection on display includes seven paintings, two watercolor sketches, his NASA badge and the mission patch he designed for astronauts of the first Columbia Space Shuttle.

    “Robert McCall’s Universe” is on display as part of the “An Unfolding Legacy” exhibit at the museum. The rotating exhibition pulls art from its vault, some of which is on display for the first time in over 10 years.

    McCleary said “An Unfolding Legacy” is an opportunity to celebrate the history of some of the archival work that has been donated to the museum. This will be the second time McCall’s work is featured in a major exhibition in the museum, the first time being in 2008.

    The museum is nestled on campus by the Center for Creative Photography and the Arizona Repertory Theatre, on North Olive Road.

    “The museum’s roots can be traced to the first-known reference to an art gallery on campus, which was under the football stadium and run by the art department,” McCleary said.

    Through this exhibit of programs and displays, the museum celebrates the influence of donors over the years to help establish it as home to the world-class collection it hosts today. “An Unfolding Legacy” showcases works from its permanent collection, with the current selection displayed from the 200 McCall art pieces donated to the UA Archive of Visual Arts.

    McCleary said that McCall’s collection of both archives and art were the first substantial contributions to be accepted by the UA Museum of Art, and helped to start the archive of visual arts.
    “I think it’s incredibly important to understand the backstory of artists,” McCleary said, “what inspired them — it gives a greater appreciation of their final product.”

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