Fine example of Paul Rossi's original artwork for a Air Force spacecraft, running on ion engines, traveling to Mars, accompanied by a tanker ship.
Drawn in 1960, the image is concert artwork, drawn for the Martin Company, a year before it became Martin Marietta.
The Martin Company
The Glenn L. Martin Company (later the The Martin Company from 1957 to 1961), as an American aircraft and aerospace manufacturing company founded by aviation pioneer Glenn L. Martin. The Martin Company produced many important aircraft for the defense of the US and allies, especially during World War II and the Cold War. During the 1950s and 60s, the Martin Company moved from the aircraft industry into the guided missile, space exploration, and space utilization industries.
In 1961, the Martin Company merged with American-Marietta Corporation, a large industrial conglomerate, forming Martin Marietta Corporation. In 1995, Martin Marietta merged with aerospace giant Lockheed to form the Lockheed Martin Corporation.
The Martin Company produced the Vanguard rocket, used by the American space program as one of its first satellite booster rockets as part of Project Vanguard. The Vanguard was the first American space exploration rocket designed from scratch to be an orbital launch vehicle — rather than being a modified sounding rocket.
Paul Rossi is considered a foremost authority on western art and history as well as a superb artist himself.
His interest in aeronautical and space subjects stems from his service in the U.S. Air Force and work with Martin Aircraft Co., 1959-61, where he did advanced space design for proposed space exploratory vehicles and systems.
He is a social historian, specializing in frontier military history, the cattle industry, fur trade era, Plains Indians and natural history of the west. While Director of the Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he co-authored the book, THE ART OF THE OLD WEST (Knopf).
Paul Rossi attended Denver University, studying anthropology as well as art. uring the summers of 1946 to 1950 he worked on Colorado and western Nebraska cattle ranches, and for two summers he followed the wheat harvest from Texas to Canada.
Rossi served the Colorado Historical Society, Museum Division, as Exhibits Preparator, 1952-1954, as Deputy Curator of Museums and as Acting Curator in 1956 when he resigned to open his own commercial art studio and museum service. The Colorado Heritage Center honored him with an invitational one-man exhibit in Denver of his work in 1979.
He became Assistant Director of the Gilcrease in 1961, Director in 1964 and resigned in 1972 to devote full time to his own art, lecturing and writing.