Julien's Auctions is proud to present a nearly complete spacesuit from 2001: A Space Odyssey, a highlight of our "Hollywood: Legends & Explorers" auction taking place in Beverly Hills and live online at Julien's Live on Friday, July 17th and Saturday, July 18th.
As one of the most culturally significant artifaces that we've ever brought to auction, this spacesuit - with its iconic, multi-scene and color helmet and original MGM shipping crate - was made for and used in Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey (MGM, 1968), which won many Academy Awards and is regarded as one of the most important films ever produced.
The spacesuit is an amalgamation of components worn by different actors and in many scenes throughout the film. This is highlighted by a helmet featuring four distinct layers of paint (a base of color of white, then green, then yellow, and lastly in its present color of white), indicating that it was used in different scenes by multiple actors and representing a number of characters . This nearly complete costume is of the lunar type in its present state (silver body suit, blue back pack, white helmet). This suit appears to be original in silver (never repainted). However, due to the layering of paint, the helmet appears to have been employed as a lunar type, then two of the four Discovery types (green and then yellow; the other colors/types being red and blue), then as a lunar type again. This helmet has a textured strip of tape inside with "HELMET A" written across in red.
Most notably, the base green layer of paint seen in chips, cracks, and green overspray throughout the helmet surface suggest that it may have been the very helmet worn by Keir Dullea, who portrayed Dr. Dave Bowman (the lead astronaut on the film’s Discovery mission to Jupiter) in the sequence in which he reenters antechamber of the Discovery surrounded by banks of circuit breakers leading to the "brain room" and logic center to “kill” HAL in one of the most famous science fiction scenes of all time ("Stop Dave. Stop Dave. I am afraid. I am afraid Dave.").
Keir Dullea’s Dr. Dave Bowman is the only character to wear a green helmet in the film, and only in that sequence.
A yellow suit and matching helmet was worn by Gary Lockwood as Dr. Frank Poole as he is left floating into space.
Some helmets were reused and repainted throughout the production, with colors featured in the Discovery crew scenes (red, yellow, blue, green) and with white used on the lunar suits. The chest boxes for the lunar suits were also different from the Discovery crew examples, and the blue chest box in this lot matches the lunar suits, as does the silver jumpsuit. This jumpsuit that is part of this lot appears to have only been silver (not any other colors).
The silver jumpsuit portion of this costume is one of the group of similar silver suits worn by the astronauts in the pivotal scene where they approach and touch the alien black monolith, “TMA-1,” in the lunar crater Tycho. These suits also appear during the scenes of the astronauts traveling to the crater aboard the Moon Bus shuttle.
This particular spacesuit appears to have been assembled decades ago from parts of several of the film’s identical suits.
The suit comes with a shipping crate mailed from England to the studio’s New York offices, addressed to Emery Austin, MGM’s assistant director of advertising and publicity.
Austin specialized in overseeing publicity for special “roadshow” engagements of MGM’s more lavish films, including 2001: A Space Odyssey, which played in certain special venues in the immersive Cinerama process.
Although the exact purpose of shipping the costume is uncertain, it appears that this suit and possibly other 2001: A Space Odyssey costumes were planned for display at prominent theaters or otherwise used as part of the film’s massive publicity campaign.
2001: A Space Odyssey remains one of the most important and influential science fiction films of all time, and screen-used props and costumes from it are extremely rare and almost never come up for auction. Legend has it that some production assets were destroyed following wrap on production and/or disposed of at a later date. They are among the most sought after and desirable of science fiction film artifacts, and this represents the first opportunity in the past twenty years to purchase at auction a genuine and nearly complete 2001: A Space Odyssey spacesuit.
Preview the full auction, special edition catalogue dedicated to this important hollywood artifact by clicking the cover image below:
Preview the entire Hollywood: Legends & Explorers auction catalogue in digital flip book format online by clicking the cover image below:
If you can't make it out to Beverly Hills to bid in person, you can still watch all the action as well as bid online at www.JuliensLive.com! Learn more at www.JuliensAuctions.com.
JULIEN'S AUCTIONS PUBLIC EXHIBITION
& LIVE AUCTION LOCATION
257 N. Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Monday, July 13th – Friday, July 17th, 2020
Daily: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time
Free to the Public (By Appointment Only)
LIVE AUCTION LOCATION
Julien's Auctions Beverly Hills
257 N. Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
LIVE & ONLINE AUCTION
Hollywood: Legends & ExplorersSession I: (Lots 1 - 259) 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time
Friday, July 17th
Session II: (Lots 260 - 494) 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time
Hollywood: Legends & ExplorersProperty From The Estate of Nolan Miller (Lots 495 - 622)Property From The Collection of Steve Martin (Lots 623 - 780)Session III: (Lots 495 - 780) 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time Hollywood: Legends & Explorers (Lots 781 - 896)2001: A Space Odyssey Costume (Lot 897)Street Art (Lots 898 - 909) Session IV: (Lots 781 - 909) 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time
Saturday, July 18th
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