Robert McCall 1919-2010

Robert McCall
Robert McCall, the pioneering space artist who helped chronicle the NASA space program through some of its greatest triumphs, as well as open our eyes to the imagined possibilities of mankind’s future in space, died last Friday, February 26, 2010, at the age of 90.

Even if you’re not directly familiar with McCall, chances are you’ve seen his work.

Take a moment to look through his web site (galleries here), and enjoy some time off-planet courtesy of a visionary artist.

For more, see my 2008 post on Robert McCall.

[Via The Art Department and Mike Burke]


6 Replies to “Robert McCall 1919-2010”

  1. I was a 14-yr-old (very shallow) girl when I first saw the ad poster for “2001” in 1968. It had a shock of exciting imagination I had never felt before. It compelled me to see the film, which is the purpose of any ad. But quite beyond that was it’s glorious promise of something quite new in ways I didn’t understand at the time. I believe that if anyone other than Mr. McCall had created that work of art, I would’nt have rushed to see the film (which remains a favorite). I feel so fortunate to have experienced his vision at such a profound personal level.

  2. I’ve admired his work since I was a kid. (back in the ’60s) While I never had the opportunity to meet with him, I did have a couple of phone conversations with him and I spent about thirty minutes watching him paint.

    In the spring of 1976 my high school class took a trip to Washington D.C. Being seniors, we had the freedom to roam and I spent part of my time walking around the (then) soon to be open National Air and Space Museum. An open door caught my attention so I looked in. The guard did not let me enter, but he did allow me to stand in the doorway to watch while Robert worked on the Space Mural. That was quite a treat.

    As bette pointed out, his work could excite the imagination. I think of him as a storyteller. He set the stage and blocked the beginning action then turned the story over to the viewer. I feel that a part of him will carry on as long as children, and adults, look at his works then tell stories of how things could be – someday. Maybe a few of those stories will set the stage for that someday to dawn.

  3. I had the great good fortune to meet bob McCall in the mid-seventies and enjoy a personally-guided tour of his studio in Arizona. I was the senior art director at a Phoenix ad agency and my paste-up girl was a friend of the family and introduced us. His work was instrumental in determining the direction I took as a young illustrator. I was overwhelmed at the size of his canvases; they were more like murals. He explained he had toured the great galleries of Europe and was impressed at how the huge canvases enveloped him in the art; he tried to recreate that feeling as he worked. As with John Berkey (who I coincidentally worked with on Discover Magazine assignments) he was one of a kind and will be sorely missed in the profession.

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