Journal Article

Dress for Egress: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Apollo Spacesuit Collection

Douglas N. Lantry

in Journal of Design History

Published on behalf of Design History Society

Volume 14, issue 4, pages 343-359
Published in print January 2001 | ISSN: 0952-4649
Published online January 2001 | e-ISSN: 1741-7279 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jdh/14.4.343
Dress for Egress: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Apollo Spacesuit Collection

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • History of Art
  • Art Forms
  • Industrial and Commercial Art
  • Art Styles

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Spacesuits as museum artefactshave long been considered indestructible because they are made from high-technology modern materials and were designed to operate ina very harsh environment Therefore, their preservation was not an issue until recently, when they were observed to be seriously deteriorating.

By tracinga Apollo-era spacesuits' multiple identities as material culture, socially constructed technology and objects of new directions in museum conservation, this article show how these artefacts can and should be understood in ways other thatn simply as aerospace equipment The evocative aspects of dress as modern technology, combined with associations of exploration adn exoticism, help give Apollo spacesuits a mystique that captivates museum visitors and enhances these garments as evidence of cultural history As socially constructed technology, the suits are records of technical cultures within the space programme culture that combined to negotiate their form.

Returning to the spacesuit as artefact, this article concludes by describing a project aimed at recuing spacesuits from decades of deterioration brought on by madequate understanding and appreciation of their material aspects, which are only now becoming understood as new ground for musuem conservators and collections managers.

Keywords: conservation; history of technology; material culture studies; museums; social construction of technology; spacesuits

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: History of Art ; Art Forms ; Industrial and Commercial Art ; Art Styles

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.