Robert T. McCall
Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame
Born in Columbus, Ohio, Robert T. McCall had an early fascination with space and astronomy. Attending Columbus College of Art and Design, McCall credits CCAD with preparing him well for his artistic success. World War II further helped him develop his skills as an aviation artist while serving as a bombardier on B-29 bombers.
Following military service, in 1957 McCall took a gamble when he left the security of a commercial art career and accepted a Life magazine assignment to create fanciful space flight illustrations. The gamble paid off. McCall pioneered the art form, becoming its first and most successful practitioner. NASA then opened its doors to McCall, from the first Mercury launches to the shuttles of today. Through his art, McCall has documented the NASA space program for more than thirty-five years. NASA’s provision of this “front row seat” has allowed him to witness personally mankind’s progress and turn it into the magnificent renderings that link us together as residents of Planet Earth.
Millions unknowingly use his smallest works — 23 space stamps for the U.S. Postal Service. Ten million visitors a year are in awe of his largest — a spectacular mural sweeping 68 feet along the lobby wall of Washington’s National Air and Space Museum and soaring six stories at its highest point.
Robert McCall’s work is prominently displayed in the Pentagon, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the Smithsonian and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., as well as in a number of distinguished private collections.
Working on projects such as the murals at Disney World’s Epcot Center in Orlando Florida, the Johnson Space Center in Houston, as well as his illustrations for movies, Robert McCall has produced a rich tapestry that encompasses more than just the history of space exploration and visions of the future. In his works we see ourselves in a different light that McCall himself so eloquently defines: “The future is bright and filled with promise for us all. And the human spirit, driven as it is, with an insatiable desire to know, to explore and to understand, will continue forever to reach upward and outward.” — Robert T. McCall.
Robert McCall and his wife, Louise, have lived in Paradise Valley, Arizona since 1970.