Many space industry experts recognize the collection of Leslie Cantwell to be the largest and most important space related photographic collection of its kind. Cantwell's collection began as one photograph given to him by moonwalker James Irwin in 1981 who inscribed the photo, “with love from the moon.” Fast forward three decades and you find that Cantwell has assembled an incredibly large number of signed and inscribed photos from the Apollo era. So impressive, his collection, or portions of it, has been exhibited in multiple venues (including the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center and the New Mexico Museum of Space History) in recent years.
More than just a compilation of photographs, Cantwell's images depict both an historic moment in Apollo history and words that bring that moment to life. Some photos are inscribed with poetry or quotes from classic literature while others display the words of the astronaut spoken at the moment. Each photo-inscription combination offers insight into both the event itself and the men and women who helped shape the history of space exploration. It is through beautiful imagery and skillfully chosen words that the photos of the Cantwell collection bring the outer reaches of space and science down to earth.