c.1963 NASA Project Mercury Seven Space Program by John Conrad Berkey Brown & Bigelow
Artist: Berkey, John Conrad
Size (in): 37.5 x 25.5
Size (cm): 95.25 x 64.75
Linen backed: No
This vintage original poster highlighting the Project Mercury NASA Space Program was created by the artist John Conrad Berkey for the Brown & Bigelow publishing company of St. Paul, Minnesota. This poster features portrait photos of the original Mercury Seven astronauts plus other astronauts that joined the space program later along with a montage of scenes depicting various aspects of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs.
The scenes at the top of the poster depicting Project Mercury are dated up to the May 16, 1963 ocean recovery of astronaut Gordon Cooper. The illustrations depicting aspects of the Gemini and Apollo Programs are not dated and appear to be artistic interpretations of events yet to come. This poster is not dated but appears to have been produced after the 1963 Project Mercury flights and before the first crewed Gemini mission in March of 1965.
John Conrad Berkey has been described as "one of the giants in the history of science fiction art” and was both an employee of Brown & Bigelow and one of the artist commissioned by the NASA Art Program. It is unclear if Berkey created the artwork for this poster as part of the commissioned work he did for the NASA Art Program or if he did it as employee of Brown & Bigelow but in either case it would be from early in his career. Berkey would later produce artwork for Star Wars, Dune and other major Hollywood movies.
This poster shows moderate handling wear including slight creasing in the image area in a couple spots and some bumping on the edges. The poster also shows some light foxing in places mostly toward the bottom of the poster. The back of the poster has a few small areas with contact loss to the paper where it looks like tape was removed not affecting the front of the poster. Overall condition is good for this vintage original.