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Photographing the Moon: An Evening with Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Curators

October 3 at 6:30
West Building Lecture Hall

The year 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969. Photography played a significant role both in preparing for the mission and in shaping the cultural consciousness of the event. By the Light of the Silvery Moon: A Century of Lunar Photographs features some 50 works ranging in date from the 19th century to the “space-age” 1960s. The event Photographing the Moon celebrates this exhibition by inviting three curators from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum to give talks on the intertwined histories of photography and space exploration. David DeVorkin, senior curator of astronomy and the space sciences, will give a talk titled “Mapping the Moon with Telescopes,” which will be an illustrated inquiry into the interplay of the eye and hand with the photographic process that looks at developments over the past 150 years and their impact on the Apollo program. In “Through Astronaut Eyes,” Jennifer Levasseur, curator of space history, will reveal the ways that images captured by astronauts of the Apollo era have formed the framework for our understanding of human spaceflight today. Finally, in “Geology from Orbit: Robots, Cameras, and Photogeology,” Matthew Shindell, curator of planetary science, will describe the development and impact of the field of photogeology, which provided early photography of the earth and moon from airplanes and eventually allowed for mapping and selecting landing sites for human missions to the moon.

The 7th Street entrance to the West Building will reopen at 6:00 p.m. The exhibition will be open to the public between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. 

If an accessible entrance is needed, please use the 6th Street entrance to the West Building and a Gallery staff member will direct you towards the West Building Lecture Hall and West Building Ground Floor Gallery 22. To provide an address for MetroAccess Paratransit, please use 201 6th Street NW for the West Building. 

Registration is free but required. Seating is available on a first-come, first-seated basis. A ticket does not guarantee seating. Please register here.

Watch the lecture here.


Loewy et Puiseux, Maurice Loewy, Pierre Henri Puiseux, Photographie Lunaire Rayonnement de Tycho - Phase Croissante, 1899, photogravure, Gift of Mary and Dan Solomon and Patrons' Permanent Fund, 2006.133.90

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