The Apollo 11 tapes.
The art world traveled to infinity and beyond this week as Heritage Auctions continued its three-day sale of the Armstrong Family collection Space Exploration Signature Auction, which dovetails with the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrongâ€™s Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20.
The sale began Tuesday in Dallas and has netted over $2.4 million so far, largely through the sale of Armstrongâ€™s gold medal, which flew with him to the moon. The 14-karat-gold piece sold for $2.05 million.
Aside from that giant leap, other smaller steps from the auction have included an American flag that flew aboard Apollo 11, which sold for $137,500, Armstrongâ€™s personal copy of NASAâ€™s â€œPreliminary Apollo 11 Flight Plan,â€ which went for $112,500, and his own NASA flight suit in the agencyâ€™s trademark dusty blue, which sold for $81,250.
Additionally, Armstrongâ€™s 2004 National Award for Space Achievement trophy sold today for $5,500, and his personal copy of the July 25, 1969, issue of Life magazine, which sees him exiting the craft after returning to Earth, sold for $21,250.
Other space-adjacent pieces from Armstrongâ€™s collection of travel ephemera included a propellor from the Wright Brothersâ€™ first powered flying machine from 1903, which netted $150,000, and a piece of muslin cloth from its left wing, which went for $143,700.
Neil Armstrongâ€™s Apollo 11 Lunar Moduleâ€“flown 14K-gold Robbins Medal sold for over $2 million.
COURTESY HERITAGE AUCTIONS
Though this is the last day of action at Heritage, its not too late to get in on the space race. Saturday, Sothebyâ€™s will auction off 11 items from the personal collection of Buzz Aldrin, alongside other Space Explorationâ€“themed wares. The top lot from Aldrinâ€™s collection includes the â€œMission Rules Summaryâ€ from the Flown Apollo 11 Data File, which is estimated to sell between $30,000 to $50,000, and the piÃ¨ce de rÃ©sistance is three reels of tape from NASA, containing two-and-a-half hoursâ€™ worth of footage that offers the â€œearliest, sharpest, and most accurateâ€ images of manâ€™s first steps on the moon, estimated to sell for between $1 million and $2 million.
For the budget-minded space fan, several exhibitions have popped up around the country to commemorate the anniversary. In New York, the American Museum of Natural History is opening To the Moon, a VR collaboration between Laurie Anderson and Hsin-Chien Huang that blends sci-fi films with Greek mythology to create an abstract version of landing on the moon. Also, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is hosting â€œApolloâ€™s Muse: The Moon in the Age of Photography,â€ which exhibits a selection of drawings, prints, photography, and painting of the moon and space exploration.
Outside the U.S., the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in HumlebÃ¦k, Denmark, hosted a large-scale exhibition â€œThe Moon: From Inner Worlds to Outer Spaceâ€ earlier this year that featured 200 works of art exploring the mysterious power of the moon, ranging from Galileoâ€™s moon map to Hiroshi Sugimotoâ€™s photography.
In addition to the sales, openings, and celebrations of the landmark eventâ€™s anniversary, check out this clip from â€œThe Art and Times of Frosty Myers,â€ on the making of the Moon Museum, which brought pin-size pieces by Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Forrest â€œFrostyâ€ Myers, John Chamberlain, Robert Rauschenberg, and Dave Navros to the moon, becoming the first art object to visit the lunar surface.