Davenport, Iowa (August 2012) The Figge Art Museum will present the talk "The History of the Space Suit" at 7pm on Thursday, August 9. The talk, presented by Dr. Cathleen S. Lewis, will utilize a slide presentation to take participants on a historical tour through the National Air and Space Museum's spacesuit collection. During the art talk guests will learn why space suits were developed, how and by whom and what the elusive standard of creating a form-fitting spacecraft that allows a human to do most anything that he or she can do on Earth really means. This talk is offered in conjunction with the current exhibition "NASA | ART 50 Years of Exploration" and is sponsored by KWQC-TV6.
Dr. Lewis is Curator of International Space Programs and Spacesuits at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, specializing in Soviet and Russian programs. Lewis has completed both bachelor's and a master's degrees in Russian and East European Studies at Yale University and completed her dissertation for her PhD in History, "The Red Stuff: A History of the Public and Material Culture of Early Human Spaceflight in the USSR, 1959-1968," at George Washington University in 2008.
Her current research is on the history of the public and popular culture of Russian fascination with the idea of human spaceflight in the Soviet Union. She has written about the artifacts in the Smithsonian's Soviet and Russian collection and has published articles comparing the Soviet and American approaches to exhibiting spaceflight during the Space Race and the history of film portrayals of spaceflight prior to Yuri Gagarin's historic flight. She is also working on a comparative history of the development of American and Russian spacesuits.
NASA | ART: 50 Years of Exploration presents an unparalleled selection of works commissioned by the NASA Art Program. Ranging from the illustrative to the abstract, more than 70 diverse artworks highlight the accomplishments, setbacks, and sheer excitement of space exploration over the past five decades.
NASA | ART 50 Years of Exploration was organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in cooperation with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The exhibition is sponsored locally by ALCOA, John Deere and Cobham, plc. The Smithsonian Community Grant program, funded by MetLife Foundation, is a proud sponsor of this public program.-END-