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The Art of Robert McCall: A Celebration of Our Future in Space Hardcover – September 1, 1992

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

McCall may not be a household name, but his art is instantly recognizable as some of the most memorable icons depicting space exploration. The space station poster from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey , the space mural at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, and numerous U.S. Postal commemorative issues all bear his distinctive stamp, one that enthusiastically celebrates space achievements and projects an optimistic future in which high technology exists in harmony with nature. Despite Ray Bradbury's overwrought introduction, this collection presents McCall at his best, including 30 works not published before. As such, it updates Ben Bova's previous collection of McCall's art, Vision of the Future ( LJ 2/15/83). It will appeal to space buffs and should be a useful addition to collections that already have Bova's book and the classic space art collection Eyewitness to Space (1971. o.p.).
- Thomas J. Frieling, Bainbridge Coll., Ga.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra; 1st edition (September 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553073559
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553073553
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 11.8 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,281,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By greencalx on February 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Imaginative and serious is how I would describe this man's art, two words which rarely dance with each other in the realm of science fiction art these days.
This isn't the usual science fiction art you see; it is more based on the realistically possible than the utterly impossible (exceptions being a few paintings for Star Trek and such), lying somewhere in between the strange imagery of Wayne Barlowe and the illustrations of space shuttles and planets from your childhood school textbooks.
This includes various murals for NASA, science conventions, Disney's EPCOT, and even a church. Also included are some of his concept sketches and cover art for Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: Space Odyssey. While his art isn't as detailed as that of, for example, Frank Frazetta's or Richard Corben's--some of McCall's paintings seem almost possible to file under "impressionism"--he proves more imagination and dedication to the genre than either of the other two forementioned talents combined.
What I like most about Robert McCall's science fiction art is, as stated earlier, it being closer to what's actually possible, while still retaining the imaginative aspects. It only makes me eager for a future which will probably come decades after my generation becomes as old as our parents, one we will never live but our children might. Another plus is the introductory paragraphs by Ray Bradbury, basically interesting musings and anecdotes about Robert McCall and science/science fiction in general.
Excuse me while I go to the moon...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Judy K. Polhemus VINE VOICE on January 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Robert McCall is a dreamer and space explorer--not on a space craft in a spacesuit but on canvas with acrylics. McCall was the first officially appointed artist to record space endeavors for NASA. (To see the cover, please click on the title and go to the product page.)

As the introduction points out, "The dawning of the space age was as profound an event as the European discovery of the Americas..." (1). McCall documented the first few years with his 16' x 72' mural located in the Johnson/NASA Space Center in Houston (as in "Houston, we have a problem" fame), entitled "Opening the Space Frontier--the Next Giant Step", 1979. It is a collage of the events of the first two decades, beginning with the first manned space flight through the space shuttle missions of the 1970's and '80's and looks ahead to permanently manned space stations.

The painting that will bring your heart into your throat is "First Men on the Moon," 7' x 9' oil on canvas. It depicts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin standing on the moon, holding the American flag, the space shuttle in the background and a half-lit Earth in the sky. A magnificent painting!

Remember the date June 17, 1975? McCall records this event on canvas: the
the joining in orbit of the U.S. Apollo and the Soviet Soyuz during an historical lull in the Cold War.

Two more events depicted by McCall as official pictorial historian are these: "Hail Columbia, April 12, 1981," marking America's return to space after half a decade of groundwork. Against a sky of a giant muted flag showing three red stripes and two stars, rises the Columbia--a stirring patriot celebration of a monumental achievement. The next page shows the Columbia landing on a runway of red and white stripes with a star-spangled sky above.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Beard on January 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautiful paintings in a wonderful collection. This book, published in 1992, is an incredible time machine into the perspectives and promises of the space program over two decades ago. A few of the descriptions, including one of an operational moon base tells us that such things should be possible "by as soon as 2015."

It's lamentable that we haven't fulfilled this goal - but I feel art like this is essential in capturing the imagination and starting a conversation with questions of "what if."

Buy it for yourself and use it to inspire a new generation.
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Format: Hardcover
I was about 12 or 13 years old with my Scout Troop 145 from Clark, NJ - our trip to Washington DC was the best trips I will cherish forever. Entering the Air & Space museum my imagination was taken over by the size of the building, the aircraft and spacecraft and mostly - being humbled by a 3 story wall mural painting of the men on the moon and the apollo space craft. Robert McCall's murals at the NASM took my breath away and opened my mind to the huge - enormous possibilities of spaceflight - I never saw such positive forward visions of the past, present and future assembled and presented in such a way.... this book is a testament to his life's passion and dedication to the space program - and far beyond into the realms of what the future could be if we want it.

As soon as this book became available I had my copy on order. For any artist that ever dreams big, for any astronomer that dreams of life in the cosmos, for anyone with a spirit of adventure, this is the book for you.

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