5 Questions for: Rudolf Budja
The art gallery owner has acquired photography from NASA and is displaying the pictures for the first time to the public.
Rudolf Budja, who owns a Miami Beach art gallery, has acquired the complete collection of NASA original vintage photography from four decades of space missions and is displaying it at the Continuum residences through late November. The monumental exhibit debut a hand-picked selection of the original photography is for the first time available to the public. Budja is a private collector and has acquired the complete series of all 8,000 original photos taken during NASA’s space missions between 1955 and 1994, including the original and first edition set of pictures from the Apollo 11 moon landing, celebrating its 50-Year Anniversary this year. We at SocialMiami were interested, so we asked him to answer our 5 Questions.
There must be something from your early years that got you interested in space. What was it?
I always loved space. As a little boy I wanted to be an astronaut and go up to the moon. Space travel and science fiction is still a love of mine, so when I discovered the collection it was like a dream come true.
What’s your favorite thing about these photos?
I like the fact that these photos where developed at the time the different photographers took them. That means they are all original vintage documents from the time of each mission. Every photo has its own typed description on the back, describing the image, what was shown, the astronaut who took the photo, the date, the mission, and each comes with a stamp of authenticity by NASA administration.
What do you do when you’re not collecting?
I run a contemporary art gallery in Sunset Harbor, that has a “coffee and donuts” shop and sound stage incorporated. I’m also a family man with three daughters, so they keep me very busy.
Do you have other interests and hobbies? Do you collect anything else?
I also collect classic race cars and vintage photographs by Andy Warhol.
Why did you choose to display this collection at the Continuum?
It’s a beautiful place with a lot of interesting people. The Continuum is at the forefront of progressive art and design and I’ve enjoyed working with the property for over two years. I’m the exclusive gallery-in-residence, which allows me to show and rotate different collections and art exhibitions for the discerning residents and their guests. Everyone who lives at the Continuum appreciates contemporary art and many are collectors themselves.