Vintage Space Art Christmas Cards at the Air Force Space and Missile Museum
December 30, 2013 11 Comments
These vintage space art Christmas cards are currently on display at the Air Force Space and Missile Museum at Cape Canaveral, Florida. They are part of the personal collection of the museum’s Director, Emily Perry. I have always enjoyed the whimsical space art of Don Mackey from the 1960s and 1970s. Look closely for details in his work that will make you smile.
Card #1 Missile Land Florida by Don Mackey features Santa on a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer (including Rudolph). The reindeer are wearing space helmets and have air canisters on their backs. There is an alien in Santa’s sack, and two more aliens on the back of the sleigh. Banners say “Merry Christmas from Missile Land Florida” and “Happy New Year Moon”. Two astronauts are waving from orbit.
Card #2 Cape Canaveral by Don Mackey shows a Moon station receiving Christmas carols from Earth with the banner “Merry Christmas from Cape Canaveral”. Outside the glass window, a whimsical alien family sings carols, while the youngest alien makes funny faces. An astronaut points toward Earth while standing next to mountains on the Moon.
Card #3 Kennedy Space Center by Don Mackey is a simple black and white drawing of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at Kennedy Space Center with a Christmas tree in the center, and a banner that says “Merry Christmas from Kennedy Space Center, Florida”.
A newspaper article from Florida Today dated 12/11/08 gives a brief biography of artist Don Mackey (click on the picture to read details).
Card #4 Atlas Santa Claus shows an old photograph of an Atlas rocket decorated like Santa Claus for Christmas, with the description: “An Air Force Museum tradition for the Christmas Season, the Atlas Santa Claus. Once a weapon for defense of the U.S., the Atlas Missile now serves mankind in an entirely different role, the peaceful exploration of space.” I am guessing that this picture was taken in the 1970s at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.
Card #5 Peace features a drawing of the moon and an American flag with the Earth and star in the distance, with the caption “We came in peace for all mankind”.
Card #6 Shuttle Launch by artist Bernard P. shows Santa on a sleigh with his reindeer watching a space shuttle launch from Kennedy Space Center, Florida.
Cards #1-3 are now in our personal collection; they were purchased on eBay. More information about the Air Force Space and Missile Museum is at: http://www.afspacemuseum.org/
A previous post with more Christmas cards by space artist Don Mackey is at: https://naturetime.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/vintage-space-art-christmas-cards/