Paul Calle’s Life of Exploration: From the Mountains to the Moon (Feb. 19, 2019 – Oct. 2021)


“I have always likened the image of mountain man John Colter, his moccasin-clad foot first stepping on the newly fallen snow of the Yellowstone valley, to the moon boot of Neil Armstrong, stepping in the dust of the moon’s surface at the Sea of Tranquility…two worlds apart, yet each at the edge of a new frontier…”

– Paul Calle, from the book Celebrating Apollo 11, The Artwork of Paul Calle.

Exhibition extended to October 2021.

In celebration of this year’s 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s first step on the moon and in honor of NASA and Western Artist, Paul Calle, the landmark exhibition Paul Calle’s Life of Exploration: From the Mountains to the Moon will be on display to the public from Feb. 19, 2019 through Oct. 20, 2020.

This retrospective exhibition traces the career of artist Paul Calle (1928-2010), who was best known for painting and drawing the historic American West featuring mountain men, fur traders and Native Americans, as well as NASA artwork and postage stamp designs including the iconic 1969 First Man on the Moon artwork and stamp. On that day, July 16, 1969, Paul Calle, an official artist of NASA, was the only artist present during the pre-launch activities of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, sketching various scenes including breakfast, suiting up and the walk-out to the space craft.

The exhibition will also showcase artworks that Calle completed while working as an illustrator and graphic artist for sports, medicine and children’s magazines, as well as his paintings and sketches of many famous people including President John F. Kennedy, Robert Frost and Helen Keller/Anne Sullivan, among others.

This exhibition is made possible through the collaboration of SMoW Trustee Tim Peterson, The Peterson Family Collection, Chris Calle & The Calle Family.


Presenting Sponsor:

Elaine & Tim Peterson


Education Sponsor:


Artwork Credit:

Paul Calle (1928-2010), The Great Moment, c. 1969, oil on masonite; Collection of the Orlando Museum of Art, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. John J. McMullen. Copyright The Calle Family. Paul Calle, Something for the Pot II, oil on canvas; Courtesy The Peterson Family Collection.