Exclusive Soon-to-Arrive Exhibition at Scottsdale’s Museum of the West to Focus on NASA and Western Artist, Paul Calle, Who Created Neil Armstrong’s First Man on the Moon Painting, Postage Stamp

Son, Chris Calle, Continues in Footsteps as Artist; Plays His Father in Universal Pictures’ First Man in Theaters Tomorrow

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Oct. 11, 2018 — In celebration of next year’s 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s first step on the moon and the theatrical release of Universal Pictures’ First Man, out tomorrow, Smithsonian Affiliate, Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, announced today the early Feb. opening of Paul Calle’s Life of Exploration: From the Mountains to the Moon. 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.

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.   

His son, Chris Calle, is following in his father’s footsteps as an artist, and plays his father in First Man, sketching the Apollo 11 crew before their legendary flight — specifically the breakfast scene.   

Chris Calle is also collaborating with Scottsdale’s Museum of the West and the Peterson Family Collection on the forthcoming exhibition for Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, which will open on Feb. 5. The exhibition will include objects on loan from the Smithsonian Institution, among other museums and collections. 


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“I’m honored to share and build upon my father’s legacy through First Man, as well as this retrospective exhibition at Scottsdale’s Museum of the West,” said artist Chris Calle, son of Paul Calle. “To be able to showcase the stories told through my father’s artwork in such a manner ensures that his passion, skill and love of the history of our country are carried on and told to a broad, multi-generation audience.”

The exhibition will cover the range of Calle’s comprehensive artworks featuring content from the American West including mountain men, fur traders and other iconic frontier scenes, as well as his NASA art and the vast range of U.S. postal stamp designs. Calle also served as an illustrator and graphic artist for sports, medicine, children’s magazines and other publications, and painted and sketched many famous people including President John F. Kennedy, Robert Frost and Helen Keller/Anne Sullivan, among others.

Tim Peterson, a renowned collector of Western and Native American art and artifacts, collaborates regularly with Scottsdale’s Museum of the West to feature his artworks on loan throughout the museum and in the museum’s second floor galleries, which are dedicated to showcasing and sharing his collections. Peterson bought his very first artwork at 10 years of age, a Calle print titled Something for the Pot. Knowing the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 and Armstrong’s first step on the moon was coming in 2019, Peterson concepted the idea of this unique and exclusive exhibit and began the creative process with Chris Calle and Dr. Tricia Loscher, Assistant Museum Director: Collections, Exhibitions and Research.

“Paul Calle’s work inspired me at a young age with his detailed style, rich Western content like Something for the Pot and the vast range of his work,” said Peterson. “To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the significant success of the Apollo 11 mission, I was excited to work with Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, Chris Calle and other institutions to assist with, create and share this exhibition to tell Paul Calle’s story showcasing his influential work across a range of content – from the Western frontier to the space frontier – with everybody.”

The forthcoming exhibition is summed in a quote by Paul Calle in the book Celebrating Apollo 11, The Artwork of Paul Calle written by son Chris and published in 2009, “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…”

The exhibition will be on display Feb. 5 – Oct. 20, 2019.

Note to media: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West PR team has a sampling of high-resolution photos of Calle’s work, which will be featured in the exhibition, to share with the media.  

Dedicated to telling stories of the greater Western region with both permanent and rotating exhibitions, the Calle exhibition will be among eight new exhibitions coming to the three-year-old Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, a Smithsonian Affiliate, in the 2018-19 season.

About Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West Since its opening in Jan. 2015, Scottsdale’s Museum of the West has become a Smithsonian Affiliate organization and is one of only eight affiliate partners in Arizona. The museum is also a highly rated Scottsdale attraction on TripAdvisor and was named the “Nations Best Western Museum (2018 Readers’ Choice, True West magazine). Scottsdale’s Museum of the West features regularly changing exhibits of Western and Native American art and artifacts, entertaining events and informative programs that bring the West’s heritage, culture and community to life.

Buildings and Campus Owned by the City of Scottsdale and managed by Scottsdale Museum of the West (a non-profit 501(c)3 organization), Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West features an award-winning 43,000-square-foot, two-story main building designed by Phoenix-based architectural firm Studio Ma. The museum campus was designed by landscape architect Colwell Shelor of Phoenix and features low-water use desert plantings. Both indoor and outdoor spaces are certified as LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold, conserving precious natural resources, while raising public awareness of their vital importance to the Western region.

Scottsdale’s Museum of the West also features the beautiful outdoor Christine and Ted Mollring Sculpture Courtyard with a rotating selection of sculptures. The 135-seat Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Theater/Auditorium hosts performances, special programs and events. The Sue and Robert Karatz Museum Store offers a rare and wide selection of Western-themed art and gifts. “Spirit Is” is an exclusive 10-minute must-see film shown on the hour at the museum that captures the spirit of the West.

Museum Hours Tues., Wed., Fri., Sat.: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday: 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m. (November-April) & 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (May-October) Sunday: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Monday

Admission Prices Adults: $15 Seniors (65+) and Active Military: $13 Students (Full-time with ID) and Children (6-17 years): $8 Members and Children 5 and under: FREE

Thursdays, November-April, Scottsdale residents with proof of residence (e.g., driver’s license, utility bill) receive FREE museum admission.

Native American guests receive free museum admission through December 30, 2018.

Location 3830 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Scottsdale’s Museum of the West is located in Old Town Scottsdale, one block west of Scottsdale Road at First Street. The museum is readily accessible from throughout the metro Phoenix area and is within easy walking distance of numerous art galleries, retail stores and restaurants. The free Downtown Scottsdale trolley stops at the museum campus.

General Contact: 480-686-9539 www.scottsdalemuseumwest.org

Media Contact: Mardi Larson, Director of Marketing & Communications Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West Office: 480-686-9539 ext. 219; Cell: 480-677-5005  [email protected]

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/2ab148e1-a7bd-41eb-be61-c29bf5501943

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Paul Calle (1928-2010), The Great Moment
This artwork will be part of the Paul Calle’s Life of Exploration: From the Mountains to the Moon exhibition at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West in Scottsdale, Ariz., beginning Feb. 5, 2019. 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 Paul Calle Estate.