Christie’s will present 700 lots dedicated to the artistic heritage of the golden age of space exploration as part of its Voyage To Another World: The Victor Martin-Malburet Photograph Collection sale. Roughly 2,400 vintage original photographs will be featured in the sale that was captured by astronaut-photographers during the first forays into space. The collection is billed as the most comprehensive private collection of NASA photographs ever presented at auction, with estimates ranging between $900 USD and $25,000 USD.
Highlights of the auction include the first images of the Earth from space, alongside those of the lunar surface, the dark side of the Moon, spacewalks, moonwalks, and the first space selfie. Additional lots include large-format photographs specially produced by NASA for presentation and striking panoramic mosaics taken both in lunar orbit and on the lunar surface.
“In a time when photography was still analogue, requiring light-sensitive chemistry, film and photographic papers, the astronauts were instructed by NASA, Hasselblad, Kodak, Zeiss specialists and by Life and National Geographic photographers such as Ralph Morse and Dean Conger. Through their cameras, the astronauts-turned-artists were able to convey to mankind the beauty and profundity of their experience into space, forever changing the way we see ourselves and our place in the universe,” said Christie’s in a statement.
The collection has been meticulously assembled over the course of 15 years by Victor Martin-Malburet.
“The astronauts are often portrayed as great scientists and heroes, but rarely are they hailed as some of the most significant photographers of all time. The early pioneers of Mercury and Gemini were given as a canvas space and the Earth; the Apollo astronauts an alien world. From the thin protections of their space capsules and EMUs (Extravehicular Mobility Units), they captured, with skill and daring, photographs which immediately embraced the iconography of the sublime, inspiring awe and wonder,” said Martin-Malburet.
Voyage to Another World Part I will be open for bidding from November 6 to 19. Visit Christie’s website for more information.