These Original Artworks From the Making of 2001: A Space Odyssey Are Spectacular

A sketch by Harry Lange for 2001. All Images: San Francisco Art Exchange

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the best films ever made. Almost 50 years after its release, it remains a topic of heated discussion and great reverence. It’s one of those films you could only dream to own a part of. But now you can.

The San Francisco Art Exchange is selling a collection of work called The 2001 File, an archive of over 1,500 sketches, designs, paintings, and more that production designer and art director Harry Lange created for Kubrick’s film.


This is truly historical, jaw-dropping stuff. It’s work Lange did specifically at Kubrick’s request, much of which made it into the movie almost exactly. Here’s just a teeny, tiny taste of what’s available.


As you can see, almost every one of those pieces is instantly recognizable as being a part of 2001. These are the original drawings used to spark those designs and sets in the final film.

“Lange’s illustrations are stunning to look at, and as you take them in you realize that they represent a kind of guided dreaming,” Theron Kabrich, co-founder and co-director of the SFAE, said in a press release. “2001 came at a very important period of time. America was working on going to the moon, and the film made space exploration seem imminent. Kubrick, [Arthur C. Clarke], and Lange didn’t put it so far out into the future that we couldn’t feel it. It’s pretty remarkable to look at Lange’s work from 50 years ago and see that so much of what he predicted is now part of our everyday life.”


So this stuff is awesome, right? Well, here’s the bad news. First, it’s not on public display. Second, it’s all for sale but it ain’t gonna be cheap. The SFAE has estimated the collection is worth $8.75 million so, yeah. These are for serious collectors only. But if you are one of those, or if you have questions, you can contact San Francisco Art Exchange at, or call 415-441-8840.

Share This Story

About the author

Germain Lussier

Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo