American Astrophilately

Calle Space Art
Hand-drawn, limited edition FDCs for sale
Limited edition signed Calle C-76 prints for sale
Other limited edition canvas and prints for sales

Celebrating Apollo 11: The artwork of Paul Calle


Paul Calle was one of the first eight artists chosen by NASA in 1962 to document the American Space Program’s Project Mercury. In a Space Art career spanning more than 40 years, Calle has covered Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle Missions. Paul was the only artist present with the Apollo XI crew of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins the morning of July 16, 1969 as they prepared for their historic launch to the Moon. His sketches of the Apollo 11 crew breakfast and Suiting Up stand as a visual record of the activities of the morning of July 16, 1969.

Perhaps one of Calle’s most well known Space paintings is the 10-cent 1969 First Man on the Moon stamp design for the US Postal Service, scott # C76. This iconic image of Neil Armstrong stepping on the surface of the Moon is remembered worldwide. The engraved plates for the postage stamp were carried to the surface of the Moon by the Apollo XI astronauts.

For the 20th Anniversary of the Moon Landing in 1989, the Postal Service asked Paul’s son, artist Chris Calle, to design the $2.40 Priority Mail stamp and asked Paul to design a First Day Cover cachet for the issue In 1994, for the 25th Anniversary of the Apollo XI Moon Landing, Paul and Chris jointly designed two US stamps commemorating the event, a 29-cent Commemorative stamp and a $9.95 Express Mail stamp.