Snoopy – Early Sun Display on Earth

Media - 1976.140.1 - SAAM-1976.140.1_1 - 4885
Copied Alma Thomas, Snoopy--Early Sun Display on Earth, 1970, acrylic on canvas, 49 7848 18 in. (126.8122.1 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Vincent Melzac, 1976.140.1

Artwork Details

Snoopy – Early Sun Display on Earth
49 7848 18 in. (126.8122.1 cm)
lower right in acrylic: A/W Thomas/'70 back upper in felt-tipped pen and ink: Alma W. Thomas/1530 15th ST. NW back upper left in felt-tipped pen and ink: Snoopy...Early Sun Display on Earth stretcher upper left in graphite: Snoopy -- Early Sun Display on Earth-- $950
Credit Line
Gift of Vincent Melzac
Mediums Description
acrylic on canvas
  • Abstract
Object Number

Artwork Description

In Snoopy—Early Sun Display on Earth, Thomas’s reverence for the beauty of living things expands to a planetary scale. Captivated by astronauts’ accounts of seeing Earth from outer space, Thomas portrayed a rainbow-hued planet pulsating with light and vitality.

“Snoopy” was the nickname for the Apollo 8 lunar module, a reference to the Peanuts comic strip character (who was also a NASA mascot) and the module’s job of flying around the moon to “snoop” for a promising landing site. Thomas would likely have seen the widely circulated photograph taken from “Snoopy” as it orbited the moon. Known as Earthrise, the image shows a partly illuminated, vibrant blue Earth as it rises above the surface of the moon.


Media - 1978.40.3 - SAAM-1978.40.3_2 - 137737
Composing Color: Paintings by Alma Thomas
September 15, 2023June 2, 2024
The exhibition Composing Color: Paintings by Alma Thomas provides an intimate view of Alma Thomas’ evolving artistic practices during her most prolific period from 1959 to her death in 1978.