Description

    Artwork Exploring the Effects of Nuclear War

    [Carl Sagan, association]. Jon Lomberg. Archive of Production Artwork for Carl Sagan's "Nuclear Winter" Article and Nucleus Project. [No place, no publisher, circa early-to-mid-1980's]. Substantial archive of about 100 original items in addition to numerous supplementary components. Including over thirty original signed sketches and paintings, twenty-eight signed prints or photos of one-of-a-kind prints of special effects paintings, forty-six hand-painted acetate overlays generally depicting stages of nuclear war and fallout, approximately 180 35mm film slides (most mounted) with caption list used for oral presentations (slide artwork is based on two DVD productions by Sagan and Lomberg entitled Global Atmospheric Effects of Nuclear Winter and Weapons in Space, 1983, 1984), and three pages (with many panels) of original storyboards for the DVD's mentioned above. Original artwork, executed in acrylic or ink on paper or board, ranges in size from from approximately 8 x 10 inches to 12 x 15 inches. Prints on paper, approximately 7 x 10 inches to 8.5 x 11 inches. Acetate overlays generally 10 x 12 inches or larger. Generally near fine.

    Included with this impressive archive are some excellent related items, including: a typed letter signed from Carl Sagan to Lomberg (6 February 1989), asking Lomberg to comment on a copy of the draft of a work by Sagan and Richard Turco (Strategy and Policy in a Nuclear-Armed World: Implications of Nuclear Winter); Draft photocopy of the aforementioned title by Sagan and Turco, signed by Sagan on the title-page; two DVD's of brief documentaries produced by Sagan and Lomberg, Global Atmospheric Effects of Nuclear Winter and Weapons in Space (1983, 1984), for which much of this artwork was done; pamphlet by Carl Sagan entitled The Nuclear Winter (1983), signed by Lomberg; A signed issue and article excerpt from the October 30, 1983 issue of Parade Magazine, which published Sagan's article on Nuclear Winter, along with Lomberg's artwork - each signed by Sagan and Lomberg; and Amicus Journal, Winter 1984 issue signed by Lomberg. Also included are production notes and other ephemera from "Nuclear Winter," Nucleus, and ephemera from the various symposia attended by Lomberg.


    More Information:

    After the ground-breaking television series, Cosmos, ended its run on PBS, Sagan continued the work that he had begun while researching the final episode - work that involved researching the devastating effects of nuclear war, even a limited one. In studying the massive dust storms on the surface of Mars, Sagan and his associates realized that nuclear war held hazards other than heat and radiation - massive clouds of dust and debris which would cover the planet in darkness. This phenomenon was coined "Nuclear Winter." In 1983, Sagan began collaborating with Lomberg again on what was perhaps their most important endeavor - getting the world to realize that even a limited nuclear exchange would end all life on Earth. Sagan felt that this work was too important to appear only in scientific journals; he wanted to publish his findings (along with Lomberg's artwork) in Parade Magazine. This would put his research in front of millions of people as well as policy makers.
    Concurrently, they made a DVD documentary (Global Atmospheric Effects of Nuclear Winter, 1983), which was presented before special Congressional committees, the Canadian Houses of Parliament, West Point, Annapolis, and even the Kremlin, along with a presentation (the slides for which are part of this collection). The DVD was aired on Nightline for the general public.

    As a result of the growing interest in this topic (and Sagan realizing that he could wield considerable influence on policy makers), he began planning a new television series, Nucleus. This show would do for nuclear physics what Cosmos had done for astronomy, and would show the folly of current policies. Sagan began planning with Lomberg and much of his original Cosmos team, but the series was not to be. McDonalds Restaurant Foundation had agreed to fund the series (which would air on ABC), but the Reagan Administration pressured them to withdraw funding, and ABC not to air it (a year earlier, the ABC movie, The Day After, had shifted public opinion away from supporting the arms race (coincidentally, it was shown one month after the first announcement of "Nuclear Winter").

    Soon thereafter, Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiave (S.D.I., or "Star Wars") came before the public. Sagan and Lomberg showed that even a defense that was 95% successful (as "Star Wars" claimed to be) would still fail to prevent the disaster of Nuclear Winter. Some of the artwork in this collection is from that effort by Sagan and Lomberg. A second DVD, Weapons in Space (1984) was produced to present the dangers of space-based weapons (narrated, fittingly enough, by James Earl Jones).

    The amity from these efforts created a more relaxed atmosphere between the two super powers; in 1987, there was a World Space Forum, hosted by the U. S. S. R. in honor of the 30th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik One. Sagan helped organize the American delegation, and Lomberg was invited to display his work alongside Soviet artists. Some of the artwork from that forum is represented in this collection.



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    September, 2016
    15th Thursday
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