Presented by Billy Teets, PhD, director and resident astronomer, Dyer Observatory 

I was born at the end of the 19th century, horse-and-buggy days, and experienced the phenomenal changes of the 20th century machine and space age. Today not only can our great scientists send astronauts to and from the moon to photograph its surface and bring back samples of rocks and other materials, but through the medium of color television all can actually see and experience the thrill of these adventures. These phenomena set my creativity in motion.

—Alma W. Thomas

During her lifetime, Alma W. Thomas witnessed historic milestones in space exploration such as the Apollo 11 moon landing, and she reflected on those events through her signature dabs of paint and expressive use of color. Join Billy Teets of Vanderbilt University’s Dyer Observatory to learn more about the NASA missions that inspired many of Thomas’s paintings featured in the exhibition Everything Is Beautiful.  

Dyer Observatory is dedicated to inspiring students and the public through the wonders of astronomy and space exploration. Surrounded by scenic Radnor Lake State Park and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Dyer’s telescopes have pointed toward the sky since 1953.

Image: Alma W. Thomas (American, 1891–1978). Blast Off, 1970. Acrylic on canvas. Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC, Gift of Vincent Melzac

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