Alan Bean: Painting Apollo

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Smithsonian Institution, Jul 1, 2009 - Art - 224 pages
Alan Bean, Painting Apollo: First Artist on Another World captures humankind's adventure in space through the eyes and emotions of the only artist who has ever been there. Through a brilliant display of color and craftsmanship, Alan Bean shares his unique perspective, conveying what only eleven other humans have experienced, in a way that only he can. As Alan Bean writes, “The art I make now is the beginning of a new category in the progression of art history, art of human experiences off our home planet, Earth. I have the honor and responsibility of being first.”

Featuring 120 of Alan Bean's luminous paintings in a starkly dramatic presentation and paired with quotes from some of the most brilliant and adventurous minds throughout history, the book explores the majesty of humanity's near spiritual drive to explore the limits of our imagination and technical capabilities. Flight manager extraordinaire Gene Kranz of Apollo 13 fame recalls the historical drama of the Apollo era from his unique eyewitness perspective on the ground. Legendary art critic Donald Kuspit places the work in the context of contemporary art and landscape painting. Finally, author William Fox, an expert on the dynamics of art and cognition, places Alan Bean in a long lineage of artists and explorers, from Thomas Moran and Ferdinand Hayden in Yellowstone, to Edward Wilson alongside Robert Falcon Scott in the Antarctic. But Alan Bean, our first ever guide to a wholly other world, is artist and astronaut in one.

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Apollo 12 lunar module commander Alan Bean became the fourth man to walk on the surface of the moon. After returning to Earth, the astronaut turned to painting to share his experiences. One hundred ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Alan Bean is an American legend. Famous as the lunar module pilot on Apollo 12 and the fourth man to set foot on the moon, Bean also served as Commander of the 59-day Skylab 3 Space Station mission. Alan Bean and his story have featured on numerous television talk shows, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, the Oprah Winfrey Show, and many more. He lives in Houston, Texas.

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