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Artist/Astronaut Alan Bean Remembering Neil A. Armstrong The Art of Alan Bean Latest Release Video Slideshow Fine Art Portfolio Artist Bio About Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Editions Books

"First Men: Neil A. Armstrong" by Alan Bean
"America's Team . . . Just the Beginning" "A Giant Leap" "Straightening Our Stripes"
"The Eagle is Headed Home" "In the Beginning . . ." "A Jewel in the Heavens" by Alan Bean
"Alan Bean: Painting Apollo..." Collector's Edition "Armstrong, Aldrin, and an American Eagle" "A Delicate Balance"
"Armstrong Heads Beyond the Boulders" by Alan Bean "For One Priceless Moment" by Alan Bean "The First Human Footprint" by Alan Bean
"John F. Kennedy's Vision" by Alan Bean "Locking Up the Rocks" by Alan Bean  

At the Greenwich Workshop, we have had the opportunity and pleasure of experiencing, almost daily, that “can-do” glow of the Apollo program through our association with Apollo XII astronaut and artist Alan Bean. The sad news of the passing of his friend Neil Armstrong is offset by thinking of how Mr. Armstrong’s achievements reflect what we as individuals, a people and a country are capable of accomplishing when challenged.

We look at the astronauts of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo as the embodiment of America at its finest. And certainly, they are. Their bravery was only accentuated by their nonchalance dismissal of the danger of the task. Among a pool of highly motivated and competitive individuals each secured, through hard work, service and sacrifice, their place in the program. He commanded the first attempt at a lunar landing because he earned that right.

But when you listen to men like Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Bean speak of their success and that of the lunar program, their pride is not in what they did, but what the nation accomplished. The feats of engineers, valve-makers, designers and welders that allowed that “giant leap” are what, in their opinion, should be viewed as truly extraordinary. Apollo was an audacious and public effort that the world hasn't seen before or has seen since. What we are capable of bringing about together far exceeds what we can do as individuals.

Neil Armstrong embodied that spirit. Americans (and the world) recall his first step and his words more than those of any other astronaut. We are saddened by his passing and our condolences go out to his family and his friends. We will forever remember and choose to embrace him as a symbol of the potential and capability of a people and a nation dedicated to a right and proper goal.


"First Men: Neil A. Armstrong" by Alan Bean

First Men: Neil A. Armstrong

by Alan Bean

"First Men: Neil A. Armstrong" is a stunning 3-D Fine Art experience and the first Textured Canvas from Alan Bean in over 10 years. It is also the largest textured canvas we’ve ever created. Truly, when you purchase our Fine Art Edition of "First Men" you’ll find it hard to believe that you have not purchased an original work of art from this legendary Astronaut, Moonwalker and Artist. Only 75 will be created for this special canvas edition. Each is signed by Apollo 12 astronaut Capt. Alan Bean. This is an edition no true fan should be without.

The work of artist Alan Bean conveys the sense of space travel not only through subject and color but also texture. The tools that once helped him explore the moon now help him put the moon’s stamp on many of his paintings. Prior to painting the image, Bean covers the surface on which he will work with a texturing material. He then uses exact replicas of his Moon boots to make footprints across this surface that are just like all the Apollo boot prints remaining on the moon today. Next he uses the same geology hammer he worked with on the Apollo 12 mission to dig into the painting’s surface. Finally, a sharp edged bit from one of the core tubes is used to make round indentations in the surface. All of these come to amazing 3-Dimensional life in this striking Fine Art Edition.

“I guess every astronaut wanted to be the first man on the Moon. I know I did,” says Alan Bean. “And if we couldn't be the first, we at least wanted to be one of the first. Apollo 11’s crew got the opportunity to make the first attempt. Neil, Buzz and Mike flew a perfect flight and went into the history books; but all 400,000 Americans that helped make Apollo a success are in that history, too."

“I think this painting is exactly how Astronaut Neil Armstrong looked as he took the now-iconic photo of his lunar companion, Buzz Aldrin,” says the artist. “You can see Buzz reflected in his gold visor if you look closely enough. I painted a companion piece to this painting at the same time as this, "First Men: Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin." In that painting, you see Neil Armstrong reflected in Buzz’s visor. They are a wonderful set and unique record of that exciting time in history.”

Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Textured Giclée Canvas:

Limited to 75 s/n. 30"w x 40"h. $1350
Sold Out at Publisher

Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Giclée Print:
Limited to 200 s/n. 20 1/2"w x 28"h. $295

"Armstrong, Aldrin and an American Eagle" by Alan Bean Armstrong, Aldrin
and an American Eagle

by Alan Bean

Apollo 11’s lunar module, Eagle, with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin aboard, is just about to touch down on the Sea of Tranquility, July 20, 1969. The descent engine is firing in order to slow the descent rate to ensure a gentle landing as Armstrong searches for a level area on the surface of the moon.

Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Giclée Canvas:

Limited to 150 s/n. 9"w x 14"h. $265
Sold Out at Publisher

"A Giant Leap" by Alan Bean A Giant Leap
by Alan Bean

Neil Armstrong’s first step on the Moon was Apollo’s most celebrated moment. No matter what our age, those of us on planet Earth remember exactly where we were and what we were doing at the time. “In 'A Giant Leap,'” says artist and astronaut Alan Bean,“I show him shifting his weight onto the Moon, placing the first human footprint there. ‘That’s one small step for man,’ Neil said, ‘one giant leap for mankind.’”

Greenwich Workshop
Fine Art Giclée Canvas:

Limited to 175 s/n. 12"w x 15"h. $265
Sold Out at Publisher

"America's Team . . . Just the Beginning" by Alan Bean

merica's Team . . . Just the Beginning
by Alan Bean

Over forty years after Neil Armstrong took one small step for a man and one giant leap for all mankind, The Greenwich Workshop is proud to present "America’s Team . . . Just the Beginning." This handsome fine art poster, which is astronaut and artist Alan Bean’s follow-up to "America’s Team –We’re #1," is his commemoration of an important, historic anniversary.

The Space Center Houston asked Alan if they could create a mural from "America’s Team – We’re #1." But the accomplished fine artist, who was also the fourth person to walk on the moon, knew that his portrait of Neil Armstrong was the wrong shape to make the transfer to the wall correctly. A new painting was called for, combining the best qualities of the original painting with Bean’s new approach.

"America’s Team . . . Just the Beginning" was that painting. “Since the faces of the astronauts are not visible because of their spacesuits’ reflective visors, the only way to show emotion is by having Neil hold up his index fingers in the universal sign of champions,” says Bean. “Believe me, I know how he felt.”

Now Alan Bean, artist and former astronaut, celebrates this human triumph in a commemorative poster that can be treasured for years to come.

Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Poster:
Open edition. 36 1/4"w x 15 3/4"h. $30

"Straightening Our Stripes" by Alan Bean Straightening
Our Stripes

by Alan Bean

July 20, 1969 - The Sea of Tranquility. Neil Armstrong's first step may have been for all mankind but the Apollo program that put Neil and Buzz Aldrin on the moon was an American one. To many astronauts, the flag represented the best efforts of a nation that rose to and met President John F. Kennedy's challenge of landing a man on the moon.

Greenwich Workshop
Fine Art Print:

Limited to 550 s/n.
27"w x 17 1/2"h. $195
Sold Out at Publisher

"In the Beginning . . ." by Alan Bean

In the Beginning . . .

by Alan Bean

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong took one small step for a man and a giant leap for mankind. On November 15, 1969, Alan Bean also set foot on the Moon. Twenty-five years later, "In the Beginning" was created to celebrate the anniversary.

"I knew that creating a painting to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first lunar landing and the total Apollo program would be difficult," says Bean. "How does one show in a single painting the dedication, the intensity, the self-sacrifice, the sense of duty, history and patriotism that engulfed all of us in our quest for the Moon?"

With a little help from his friends, that's how. Just as the Apollo program itself was the collaboration of many, Bean sought suggestions from fellow astronauts, artists and good friends before creating this image. The result is this stirring portrait of Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon, celebrating their accomplishment in red, white and blue while Gene Cernan, the latest moon explorer, gives a friendly wave at the planet they've temporarily left behind.

Countersigners: Walter Cunningham and Wally Schirra (Apollo 7), Frank Borman (Apollo 8), Jim McDivitt and Rusty Schweickart (Apollo 9), Tom Stafford (Apollo 10), Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins (Apollo 11), Alan Bean, Charles Conrad Jr. and Dick Gordon (Apollo 12), Fred W. Haise and Jim Lovell (Apollo 13), Edgar Mitchell, Stuart A. Roosa and Alan B. Shephard Jr. (Apollo 14), Dave Scott and Al Worden (Apollo 15), Charlie Duke (Apollo 16) and Harrison H. "Jack" Schmitt (Apollo 17).

Fine Art Giclée Print:

Limited to 1,000 s/n. 15"w x 17 1/4"h. $600
Sold Out at Publisher

"Armstrong, Aldrin and an American Eagle" by Alan Bean

The Eagle is Headed Home

by Alan Bean

Lunar Module Eagle has just made the first lunar liftoff. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are ascending from Tranquility Base to transfer themselves and their treasure of moon rocks to the command module and head for home.

"On the Apollo 12 mission, I recall looking out the window during lift-off and seeing a ring of bright orange, silver and black flashes of light expanding rapidly outward, glints from pieces of metal-foil insulation blasted from the descent stage by the ascent engine."

Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Giclée Canvas:
Limited to 150 s/n. 24"w x 16"h. $495

"Alan Bean: Painting Apollo - First Artist on Another World" Collector's Edition by Alan Bean

Alan Bean: Painting Apollo - First Artist on Another World
Collector's Edition
by Alan Bean

In the summer of 2010, the world celebrated the 40th Anniversary of man’s first walk on the moon and your Greenwich Workshop Authorized Dealer has a room full of historic open and limited edition fine art at their fingertips for your gift giving and home or office display. Greenwich Workshop Artist and Apollo Astronaut Alan Bean was the subject of a one-man show at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum featuring forty of Bean’s original drawings and paintings from July 16, 2009 until January 13, 2010. Some of these Apollo inspired paintings are available in Fine Art Limited Editions, many with historic counter-signers in addition to Astronaut and Artist Alan Bean.

In July 2009, Smithsonian Books published "Painting Apollo: First Artist on Another World," to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The Greenwich Workshop produced this very limited Collectors Edition diptych and signed, slipcased book. Artist Alan Bean’s diptych portrays Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin as they erect and salute the American flag on the surface of the Moon. It is a moment that will live in history forever, and in the collective memories of the millions of people who saw it live on television. There was so much to celebrate! We, the United States of America, had won a very real race to show which country could land men on the Moon and return them safely to Earth. This amazing achievement demonstrated the collective will and capability of over 400,000 American men and women doing their jobs with care and precision.

Greenwich Workshop Collector's Edition
Book and Giclée Canvas Diptych:

"A Distant Celebration" Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Giclée Canvas Diptych:
(above left:) "Rendering Honors" 13" x 16" initialed by artist
(above right:) "Planting Our Colors" 13" x 16" s/n
plus the slipcased book "Painting Apollo: First Artist on Another World"
with contributors including renown art critic Donald Kuspit and NASA Flight Director Eugene Kranz.
Trim size: 11 x 10, 224 pgs, 107 paintings, with a specially-designed tip-in sheet signed by the artist.
limited to 225 s/n.

"A Jewel in the Heavens" by Alan Bean

A Jewel in the Heavens

by Alan Bean

“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too." - John F Kennedy, September 12, 1962

Astronaut and artist Alan Bean is not only the first artist to paint a world other than our Earth who actually went there, he is the first in history to paint our Earth after viewing it from space. His art’s significance as the original human interpretative record of man’s first off-world experience will only increase in its importance and value over time.

Those of us who were lucky enough to be alive during the Apollo program look at Bean’s art and share the stirring of emotion, pride and the sense of awe that we experienced as we lived through the fulfillment of President Kennedy’s challenge. The whole world (the artist’s “fellow earthlings”) can now look up at the moon in the night’s sky and know that human beings were once there looking back at us.

“Over the years I changed my profession from NASA astronaut to space artist,” says Alan Bean. “I have created several paintings of earth and in the years since the Apollo 12 mission, my astronaut eyes have gradually been replaced with artist eyes. I now see the Earth in my mind’s eye as much brighter than recorded by our cameras,” he says about "A Jewel in the Heavens," “and I paint the Earth in bolder colors now.” This Fine Art Giclee Canvas not only takes us off this Earth to look back upon it in the company of an Apollo astronaut, it is a ticket back to one of the most fulfilling times in our lives.

Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Giclée Canvas:

Limited to 150 s/n. 14"w x 12"h. $265

"A Delicate Balance" by Alan Bean

A Delicate Balance

by Alan Bean

Apollo 11 Astronaut Neil Armstrong is trying to prevent the American flag from falling over into the lunar dust while most of the people on earth are watching him on television. It just isn’t as easy as it was in practice just a few days ago.

His biggest frustration is that he cannot shove the flagstaff as deep into the soil as he would like to. “Six to eight inches was about as far as I could get it in,” Neil commented later. Adding to this difficulty was his discovery that although the soil is hard to penetrate straight down, it can be shoved sideways rather easily. “The soil would not hold the flagstaff firmly in position and it took only a light push to tip it over.” Unfortunately, the flagstaff was basically unbalanced because of the telescoping metal rod that stuck straight out from the top. This was a kind of curtain rod to support the flag, since there is no wind on the moon to blow the flag out.

Neil finally found a solution. “I pushed the flagstaff into the ground at a slight angle such that the center of gravity of the overall unit would be above the point at which the flagstaff was inserted into the lunar surface. That seemed to hold all right.” It sure looked “all right” to all of us watching in wonder in front of our television sets, Sunday night, July 20, 1969.

"Armstrong Heads Beyond the Boulders" by Alan Bean

Armstrong Heads Beyond the Boulders
by Alan Bean

Neil and Buzz were well below 2000 feet in their descent before Neil could take his first look out his window and study the landing area.   “Pretty rocky area”, Neil said to buzz over the intercom.  Neil would later say “we were landing just short and slightly north (to the right) of a large rocky crater surrounded by a large boulder field with very large rocks covering a high percentage of the surface.”

Neil initially felt this might be a good landing area if he could stop short of that crater.  The scientists back on Planet Earth would be excited if we could land near those boulders from deep below the surface of the moon; however, “as I continued to monitor our descent it became obvious I could not stop short enough to find a safe landing area.”

Neil knew from many hours of training in the lunar module simulator that overflying the programmed landing area was going to add risk to an already risky enterprise.  First, were the landing conditions up ahead any better than right here?  From here he could not tell.

And he would have to use precious fuel to fly over the boulders-fuel he might need later to hover over the surface to find a safe place to land.   But it was too dangerous to land here.

So twenty-one seconds ago Neil had switched to manual control and pitched upright to slow his descent and to get the Eagle moving faster beyond west crater and it’s boulder field. 
Even Buzz seemed a bit surprised at how fast Neil was moving across the lunar surface when he said to Neil over the intercom, “you’re pegged on horizontal velocity.” 

Neil was right; some of those boulders were as big as Volkswagens.  but up ahead it looks better . . . if we can get just beyond little west crater, perhaps a thousand feet ahead . . . .

Neil, on the intercom only:  “Okay.  Here’s a . . . looks like a good area here.”

The rest is history.  With billions of humans 240,000 miles away back on Planet Earth holding their breath, Neil and Buzz touched down at tranquility base with only 42 seconds of fuel remaining.

"The First Human Footprint" by Alan Bean

The First Human Footprint

by Alan Bean

There will be other first footprints in our future―first on Mars, on an asteroid, on a moon of Jupiter and on a planet around a different star―but none so future changing as this one in July, 1969.


"Locking Up the Rocks" by Alan Bean

Locking Up the Rocks

by Alan Bean

We knew even before Apollo 11 blasted off that the single most important thing Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin could do would be to bring back pieces of the moon. These samples would be loaded into two return containers, each formed from a single piece of aluminum. A ring of soft metal called indium lined the lip of each box, wile around the edge of the lid was a knife-like strip. I painted Neil just as he activated one of the four locking levers which caused the knife edge to bite deeply into the indium, thus sealing the rocks in the moon’s vacuum for their quarter million-mile trip to earth.
I thought about painting this for a long time but put it off again and again. I concentrated instead on painting astronauts working in the intense lunar sunshine because I enjoy the bright white sun-struck space suit. This painting would be different because Neil would be in the shadow of the lunar module. All Apollo landings were made with the sun to the rear of the lunar module so that the craters and boulders would be most visible during the landing descent. After landing, the area in front of the lunar module is then in total shadow and this is where Neil stood to fill, close and lock the rock sample box. To my delight, this total shadow effect worked beautifully, with Neil somewhat dark and colorful in shadow and the Sea of Tranquility a bright counterpoint.



"For One Priceless Moment" by Alan Bean

For One Priceless Moment
by Alan Bean

I painted Apollo 11 Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin completing, in my opinion, the most significant thing they did during their historic journey. The flagstaff was stowed in two sections. The upper section included the flag mounted on a fold-up telescoping metal rod. Neil remembered, “It went as planned except the telescoping top rod could not be extended. Both Buzz and I operating together were unable to apply enough force to extend it.” Buzz added, “We thought maybe we could extend the rod by both pulling but we didn’t dare exert too much force because if it ever gave way, we’d find ourselves off balance.”

It was only a few minutes later that President Richard Nixon, calling by telephone from the Oval Office in the White House, said, “For one priceless moment in the whole history of Man, all the people on earth are truly one; one in their pride in what you have done and one in our prayers that you will return safely to earth.” The television picture we all watched was from their blank and white camera, some 40 feet in distance. I composed this painting so that if you stand back exactly eight feet, you will see Neil and Buzz and our flag, with the Eagle in the background, just as if your stood nineteen feet away on the Sea of Tranquility, Sunday, July 20, 1969.


"John F. Kennedy's Vision" by Alan Bean

John F. Kennedy's Vision
by Alan Bean

In September 1962, President Kennedy gave America an historical challenge. He said: “We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained and new rights to be won and they must be won and used for the progress of all people . . . .  We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone and one which we intend to win.” On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin realized JFK’s vision when they placed the Stars and Stripes on the surface of the Moon.

Alan Bean: Artist and Astronaut

Captain Alan Bean was the lunar module pilot on Apollo 12, the fourth man to walk on the moon and commander of Skylab 2. “I am fortunate enough to have seen sights no other artist ever has,” Bean says.

“I want my paintings to communicate an emotional experience in ways that photography cannot.”

Captain Bean creates his original works of art using a unique technique allowing the viewer to actually sense vestiges of the 20th century’s most dramatic accomplishments. Pressed into the canvas surfaces are Captain Bean’s authentic lunar boot “moonprints,” impressions from a core tube-bit used to collect soil samples and marks from a hammer used to drive the staff of the American flag into the moon’s surface. Moon dust, trapped on the patches on the outside of his suit, makes its way onto each original as well.

Each print and canvas is an historical record of the lunar experience, as each is signed by moonwalker Captain Alan Bean, with most countersigned by other moonwalkers and astronauts.This may be your only chance to own such a visionary and historic celebration of man’s greatest achievement. NASA was sometimes asked “Why not send an artist to the moon?” It turns out they did.


Alan Bean—Apollo XII astronaut, commander of Skylab II and artist—was born in 1932 in Wheeler, Texas. In 1950 he was selected for an NROTC scholarship at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1955, he was commissioned an ensign in the United States Navy.

Holder of eleven world records in space and astronautics, as well as numerous national and international honors, Alan Bean has had a most distinguished peacetime career. His awards include two NASA Distinguished Service Medals, the Yuri Gagarin Gold Medal and the Robert J. Collier Trophy. As part of the Apollo XII crew, he became the fourth of only twelve men ever to walk on the Moon. As the spacecraft commander of Skylab Mission II, he set a world record: 24,400,000 miles traveled during the 59-day flight. He has also launched himself successfully into a new career as an artist.

When he wasn’t flying, Bean always enjoyed painting as a hobby. Attending night classes at St. Mary’s College in Maryland in 1962, Alan experimented with landscapes. During training and between missions as a test pilot and astronaut, he continued private art lessons. On space voyages, his artist’s eye and talent enabled him to document impressions of the Moon and space to be preserved later on canvas. His art reflects the attention to detail of the aeronautical engineer, the respect for the unknown of the astronaut and the unabashed appreciation of a skilled painter.

The space program has seen unprecedented achievements and Bean realized that most of those who participated actively in this adventure would be gone in forty years. He knew that if any credible artistic impressions were to remain for future generations, he must paint them now. “My decision to resign from NASA in 1981 was based on the fact that I am fortunate enough to have seen sights no other artist ever has,” Bean said, “and I hope to communicate these experiences through art.”

Bean’s book Apollo: An Eyewitness Account which chronicles his first-person experience as an Apollo astronaut in words and paintings was received with critical and popular acclaim upon its publication in 1998.

Alan Bean samples the Ocean of Storms.

Is Anyone Out There?

A detail of Is Anyone Out There showing the lunar boot moonprints and core tube-bit imprint.

Alan Bean in 1981

Alan Bean in his studio

Alan Bean: Video
Watch this clip from the documentary Alan Bean: Artist.
Alan Bean, in his studio, discusses his art.


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