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The Art of Space

The Art of Space

Preview William “Bill” (“Two More”) Taub’s photographs, highlights of the auction Space Photography Online (26 November–3 December 2019, New York).
Preview William “Bill” (“Two More”) Taub’s photographs, highlights of the auction Space Photography Online (26 November–3 December 2019, New York).

A rtist Bill Taub was NASA’s first senior photographer, covering every major NASA event from the beginning of project Mercury to the end of Apollo; nearly every official photograph of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts were taken by Taub, and the wonderful informative captions found on the backs of photos distributed to press were written by him.

At the age of 17, Taub was offered a job building aircraft models at NACA’s Langley Field in Hampton, VA. Shortly after he arrived, he succeeded in photographing the spark an engine inside a cylinder using his personal Leica camera, something that NACA’s official photographers had been unable to capture (as they were using the wrong equipment).

“But you’ve got to remember I was an artist, and I was an amateur photographer, more than that, and I loved to take pictures, so I was looking to take pictures that were different, and that’s how that came about, you know, to have a sense of the artistry to them.”
William P. Taub, quoted from NASA Headquarters Oral History Project

This caught the attention of officials at Langley, who then offered him a new job as a photographer – and the rest is history. “I had the privilege to be there to record it. I made sure I recorded it to the best of my ability, because I have a sense of history.” Taub was often one of the last people to see the astronauts before liftoff, earning the nickname “Two More Taub” for his insistence on snapping just a couple more shots.

View Bill Taub's photographs below.

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[GEMINI 3] VINTAGE CHROMOGENIC PRINT OF VIRGIL "GUS" GRISSOM AND JOHN YOUNG IN THE SPACE CAPSULE, CA MARCH 1965. Estimate $2,000–3,000.
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[GEMINI 5] VINTAGE SILVER GELATIN PRINT OF CHARLES "PETE" CONRAD AND GORDON COOPER, CA AUGUST 1965. Estimate $2,000–3,000.
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[MERCURY-ATLAS 8] VINTAGE CHROMOGENIC PRINT OF WALLY SCHIRRA ABOARD THE USS KEARSARGE AFTER SPLASHDOWN, 3 OCTOBER 1962. Estimate $1,500–2,500.
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[MERCURY-REDSTONE 4] VINTAGE SILVER GELATIN PRINT OF GUS GRISSOM WITH THE LIBERTY BELL 7, CA JULY 1961. Estimate $2,000–3,000.
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[GEMINI 5] VINTAGE CHROMOGENIC PRINT OF GORDON COOPER AND CHARLES "PETE" CONRAD SUITED UP, 21 AUGUST 1965. Estimate $2,000–3,000.
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[GEMINI 6] VINTAGE CHROMOGENIC PRINT OF WALLY SCHIRRA SUITING UP, CA DECEMBER 1965. Estimate $2,000–3,000.
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[GEMINI 6] VINTAGE SILVER GELATIN PRINT OF WALTER "WALLY" SCHIRRA SUITING UP, CA DECEMBER 1965. Estimate $2,000–3,000.
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[MERCURY-ATLAS 9] VINTAGE CHROMOGENIC PRINT OF GORDON COOPER EXITING THE MERCURY SPACECRAFT, 16 MAY 1963. Estimate $1,500–2,500.
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[GEMINI 5] VINTAGE SILVER GELATIN PRINT OF CHARLES "PETE" CONRAD, SUITING UP, CA AUGUST 1965. Estimate $2,000–3,000.
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[MERCURY-REDSTONE 4] VINTAGE SILVER GELATIN PRINT OF GUS GRISSOM AND JOHN GLENN WITH THE LIBERTY BELL 7, CA JULY 1961. Estimate $2,000–3,000.
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[MERCURY-REDSTONE 4] VINTAGE SILVER GELATIN PRINT OF VIRGIL "GUS" GRISSOM, CA JULY 1961. Estimate $2,000–3,000.
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[GEMINI 7] VINTAGE SILVER GELATIN PRINT OF FRANK BORMAN, CA DECEMBER 1965. Estimate $2,000–3,000.

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