The Legend Retold

Glendale Public Library 
5959 W. Brown Street
(59th Avenue and Brown Street)

Icarus Triumphant: The Legend Retold
Artist: Robert McCall
Acrylic on canvas
Completed: 1988

Internationally acclaimed space artist Robert McCall painted this mural on-site, during which students of all ages were invited to watch him work. The mural depicts the Greek legend of Icarus from a modern perspective of space flight and exploration. Instead of wings made of eagle feathers and wax, Icarus is propelled by a backpack maneuvering unit as he hovers above Earth.

Robert McCall won acclaim in the 1960’s when Life Magazine commissioned him to create a series of paintings depicting the future of space travel. A short time later, he became one of a select group of artists chosen by NASA to document the US space program. He also created poster art for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, which has become a modern classic. In 2005, he received the Governor’s Artist of the Year Award. That same year, the McCall Museum of Art, which is next to the Challenger Space Center, opened in Peoria, AZ.