Walking on the Moon

The Apollo 11 lunar module with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon fifty years ago on July 20, 1969. Armstrong’s first step onto the lunar surface was broadcast on live TV to a worldwide audience. He famously described the event as “one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” To mark the occasion Paris’ Grand Palais is exhibiting “La Lune, du voyage réel aux voyages imaginaires” (to July 22, 2019).

Since antiquity, the idea of going to the moon has inspired the imagination. With Apollo 11 the voyage became a reality. The exhibition at Grand Palais begins with the real journey then revisits early attempts to depict the Moon including first maps drawn in the mid-17th century, replicas of Galileo’s telescopes and first photographs of the moon taken in the 1840’s.

“Ah, they’ll never, they’ll never ever reach the moon. At least not the one that we’re after” Leonard Cohen (1970).

The rest of the exhibition is devoted to “voyages imaginaires” celebrated by writers, artists, mystics and thinkers through the ages. The exhibition includes work by such artists as Abraham Janssens, Girodet, Rodin, Marc Chagall, Man Ray and Nam June Paik. It concludes with Canova’s “Sleeping Endymion” for a peaceful moment of contemplation.

“La Lune, du voyage réel aux voyages imaginaires” (to July 22, 2019) at the Grand Palais, Paris.