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"Ceremony on the Plain at Hadley" by Alan Bean
       
Ceremony on the Plain at Hadley
by Alan Bean

“Falcon is on the plain at Hadley,” reported the excited Apollo 15 Commander David R. Scott on  July 30, 1971. Dave and lunar module pilot Jim Irwin were on the surface of the moon at a site rich with scientific potential. They would be able to make observations and gather samples for some three and a half days and would have for their use the first car on the moon, an electric dune buggy.

But first, the matter of ceremony. Planting the flag, or perhaps a stick or spear before flags were created, has been a tradition in exploration since ancient times, and moon exploration was no exception. They couldn’t, however, count on the wind blowing the flag since there is no air on the moon. So they used a small metal snap-up curtain rod along the top edge of the flag.

Why had we gone to the moon at all? Was it worth the cost? There may be no single answer to these questions which we must all decide for ourselves. The spirit of exploration is either in your heart or it is not. Dave Scott spoke eloquently when he said, “As I stand here in the wonders of the unknown at Hadley, I try to realize there is a fundamental truth to our nature. Man must explore. And this is exploration at its greatest.”


Sizing & Pricing
Greenwich Workshop FineArt Giclée Print:
Limited to 150 s/n. 24"w x 16"h. $275

 


"Ceremony on the Plain at Hadley" by Alan Bean

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.

Biography

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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