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Photograph of Buzz Aldrin standing on the moon with the American flag and the lunar module, signed on the mount by all three crew members: Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins

artnet News
 2020-05-19

Cover picture for the articleA splendid association: this magnificent photograph is inscribed to Vanderbilt heir William A. M. Burden and his wife Peggy. Financier, philanthropist, and diplomat, Burden made his fortune in aviation finance and advised several presidents on aviation matters. As a member of the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents, he was instrumental in the creation of the National Air & Space Museum. Burden “made his own fortune in aviation securities” (Smithsonian). A major figure in the history of American aviation finance, Burden was a key adviser to the American government on the development of aviation. As a member of the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents, Burden was instrumental in the creation of the National Air and Space Museum. When the project’s funding was threatened, he secured the support of his friend Richard M. Nixon. Burden’s personal collection “formed the core of the National Air and Space Museum historical aviation research collection” (Scott, Aeronautics and Space Flight Collections, p. 192). A leading collector of modern art, Burden oversaw the dramatic expansion of the Museum of Modern Art in the 1950s and 1960s as its president.

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