Each week, we bring you the backstory of a work featured in our collection, written by a member of our curatorial team. 

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by Haley Temin, Associate Curator
& Sara Robertson
, Curator

In the words of nineteenth-century painter, Paul Klee: “art does not reproduce what we see; rather, it makes us see.” For the purpose of this week’s post, no better words can be used to describe what art brings to its viewers. At its essence, art can open the door to the beauty, humanity, and truth that mankind so easily overlooks or forgets. For example, through his paintings of ballet dancers, Degas shows the free spirit and grace found through the art of expression; while Dorothea Lange’s photographs of migrant workers depict the harsh reality that comes with change, but also the core values and heart that make up a family.

In our recent gallery, we capture this essence of art in an unexpected way. Using images taken from NASA’s Terra spacecraft, a satellite that has been orbiting Earth’s atmosphere since 1999, we invite viewers to see the world that we live in from a different, elevated viewpoint. These satellite images are an innovative form of art, one that exposes the technological and scientific advancements NASA has to share, as well as providing us with breathtaking and extraordinary views that are out of this world (literally!).

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These satellite images provide scientific records of Earth’s ever-changing atmosphere and climate, as well as monitor record breaking storms and droughts. On an aesthetic level, these images create beautiful, strikingly colorful, detailed, and eye-opening perspectives of our place on Earth. Through these images, we are given the chance to look, with a new appreciation, at the planet we often take for granted.

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Much like how Meural bridges the line between technology and art, NASA’s Terra Spacecraft does the same by capturing stunning, organic images that enable scientific study, as well as providing pieces of art that explore the unseen beauty of our own planet.