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Ready for Liftoff: “Apollo’s Muse” Is Now on View

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing

On July 20, 1969, half a billion people around the world were riveted to their television screens as astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to ever set foot on the moon. To mark the 50th anniversary of this momentous event, The Met presents Apollo’s Muse: The Moon in the Age of Photography, on view through September 22, 2019.

Buzz Aldrin Walking on the Surface of the Moon Near a Leg of the Lunar Module. Neil Armstrong (American, 1930–2012). Chromogenic print, 6 3/4 × 10 1/16 in., 1969. Gift of Mary and Dan Solomon, 2016 (2016.796.24)


The exhibition surveys the visual representations of the moon from the dawn of photography through the present, featuring more than 170 photographs together with a selection of related drawings, prints, paintings, films, video art, astronomical instruments, and cameras used by the Apollo 11 astronauts.

The Moon. John Adams Whipple (American, 1822–1891). Salted paper print from glass negative, 8 5/16 × 6 1/4 in., 1857–60. Robert O. Dougan Collection, Gift of Warner Communications Inc., 1978 (1978.649.7)


Among the many highlights in the show are two newly discovered lunar daguerreotypes from the 1840s, believed to be the earliest existing photographs of the moon. They’re joined in the exhibition by major works by German Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich (1774–1840) and American Pictorialist photographer Edward Steichen (1879–1973).

Two Men Contemplating the Moon. Caspar David Friedrich (German, 1774–1840). Oil on canvas, 13 3/4 x 17 1/4 in., ca. 1825–30. Wrightsman Fund, 2000 (2000.51)


In celebration of this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition, The Met Store is proud to offer a host of space- and lunar-themed items, including the Moon Landing Pin Set. Available in a limited edition of 1,969, the set comprises an astronaut, the American flag, and a spacecraft.

Moon Landing Pin Set


The Phases of the Moon Reversible Jacquard Scarf, also made expressly for the exhibition, gets its singular look from a set of 12 cartes de visite produced in 1863 by Austin Augustus Turner (American, ca. 1813–1866) after the original photos by astronomer Warren de la Rue (British, 1815–1889), a pioneer in celestial photography.

Phases of the Moon Reversible Jacquard Scarf


The accompanying catalogue, Apollo’s Muse: The Moon in the Age of Photography, boasts detailed descriptions and extraordinary reproductions of the works in the exhibition, along with a foreword by Tom Hanks, Academy Award–winning actor and space enthusiast.


Apollo’s Muse: The Moon in the Age of Photography


You can find these items and much more in the exhibition shop and at store.metmuseum.org.

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