Victor Martin-Malburet has amassed one of the most spectacular collections of photographs documenting the American space program from the 1940s to the 1970s. Now, the vintage prints, totaling more than 2,400, are available in a Christies auction —Voyage to Another World: The Victor Martin-Malburet Photograph Collection— running now through November 19.
"They are absolutely works of art," Martin-Malburet says. "Artists strive for new ways to express themselves, a new visual vocabulary. The astronauts had the blank vistas of space as their subject and their canvas. And the fact that you have humans behind the camera is really important. They saw themselves as scientists, but somehow they embraced the sublime. Through them, art broke free of gravity."
Above, "John Young and Gus Grissom in the Gemini simulator" (1964). Below, "Crescent Earth rising beyond the Moon's barren horizon, July 26-August 7, 1971" by Alfred Worden; "Lunar horizon over the Ocean of Storms (1966); "First self-portrait in space, November 11-15, 1966" by Buzz Aldrin; and "The Original Seven Project Mercury astronauts" (1960).