This iconic Mercury Seven color lithograph, by artist George Bishop, is a signed limited edition collector's piece celebrating America's seven first space pioneers; the seven chosen astronauts for Project Mercury and the race to space with the Soviet Union. This poster was issued in two limited editions; one edition of only 125 prints and one edition of 1500 prints were created. This lithograph is numbered "513/1500", making this the 513th print in the larger edition.
This large lithograph was conceived to raise seed money for the Mercury Foundation. The poster vividly depicts an historic Redstone rocket at the moment of lift off. In the plumes of the rocket's exhaust are the portraits of these seven courageous men, with the Moon in the upper background.
The Mercury Seven were made up of Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, John Glenn, Deke Slayton, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, and Gordon Cooper. This poster has been hand signed in pencil by six of these seven astronauts for Project Mercury. Gus Grissom did not have the opportunity to participate in the signing, having died tragically in 1967 in the fire that consumed the Apollo 1 team during a pre-flight simulation. Instead, his wife, Betty Grissom, has signed the lithograph over his mission patch in his memory and for the benefit of Mercury Foundation. The astronauts signed largely and clearly next to each of their mission patches.
Before Project Mercury, no person had even attempted to reach space. There was no guarantee that the project would work, yet these men volunteered to put their lives on the line for their country and science. The Mercury Seven were devoted, fearless, diligent, and bold — all the heroic attributes that Tom Wolfe waxes poetically about in “The Right Stuff.”
The condition of this lithograph is excellent. Paper is healthy with no tears. The original color is still intact with no fading. The signatures at bottom have been verified as original signatures, not copies or autopen reproductions. Signatures are in pencil. Numbered #513/1500 in bottom margin.
The poster is artfully presented framed with two additional photographs of the original Mercury 7 astronauts at top left and right corners. Framing is to conservation standards, with UV glass and a custom-built wooden frame. Framed Dimensions: 35 1/4”H x 44 1/2”W x 1”D.