Sotheby’s is thrilled to announce our inaugural Space Photography online auction. Enthusiasm for such material has steadily increased over the years, and 2019 marks an important landmark in this field: the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. The images present in this sale tell the story of the historic events leading up to Neil Armstrong’s first step on the moon, and those that followed.
The Vintage NASA Photo Collection of Philip Kulpa forms the core of this sale, with 140 photographs—primarily official “Red Number” images—chronicling the history of the United States space program from Gemini 4 through the shuttle missions. Additionally, Sotheby’s is proud to offer selections from the estate of Bill Taub, NASA’s first senior photographer, who covered every major NASA event from the beginning of project Mercury to the end of Apollo. With a skilled, often artistic eye, Taub’s photographs capture many of NASA’s most significant figures and moments with sense of style and intimacy. And for those who embrace a broader definition of space exploration, this sale will also feature a number of “UFO” photographs taken by "Billy" Eduard Albert Meier, founder of the Free Community of Interests for the Border and Spiritual Sciences and Ufological Studies.