March 22, 2004
NASA Marks Passing Of Noted Artist And Agency Curator
Robert Schulman died of cancer March 20, 2004, in Annapolis, Md. He joined NASA in 1974 to develop NASA's Corporate Identity Program.
"In his 20 years of service to NASA, Bob Schulman shaped the corporate identity of the agency. He successfully curated the NASA Art Program by commissioning some of America's leading artists and illustrators. His artistic achievements greatly enhanced the historical documentation of our nation's space program," said Bert Ulrich, Curator, NASA Art Program.
Schulman was NASA's Fine Arts Curator from 1976 to 1994. The NASA Art Program documents and celebrates the history of the American Space program as seen through the imagination of the artist. He received the First Presidential Award for Graphics Design Excellence at NASA from President Ronald Reagan.
The program enabled Schulman to select and commission outstanding American artists to join astronauts, scientists and others architects of the space age to witness, document and interpret history in the making. Many of the works are on permanent display at Florida's Kennedy Space Center Art Gallery. Schulman invited artists like Robert Rauschenberg, Wendall Minor, Robert McCall, and others to contribute to the program. He had jazz musician Jane Ira Bloom write and perform a symphonic composition to honor NASA's return to flight following the Challenger accident.
Schulman's own painting career was successful. He exhibited in galleries including the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio; National Air and Space Museum in Washington; the Artrain, USA, 1999-2003 National Tour of the NASA Space Art Collection; the Maryland Governor's Mansion in Annapolis, Md.; and at the Mitsukoshi Gallery, Tokyo.
He was born in Springfield, Mass. in 1924, and served the Army during WW II. He studied at the Whitney School of Art in New Haven, Conn. and at Corcoran School of Art, Washington. He is survived by his widow, son and two daughters.
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