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Alan Bean - A Window on the End of an Era -  LIMITED EDITION CANVAS Published by the Greenwich Workshop

          A Window on the End of an Era
by Alan Bean


Limited Edition of: 80
Image Size: 16"w x 24"h.
Published: June 2012

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Captain Alan Bean creates imagery from a perspective on the Apollo program no other artist can claim. And, it is that moonwalker experience that enables him to lace his paintings with details that could only be remembered by someone who was there.

“The Apollo 17 crew, Gene Cernan, Ron Evans and Jack Schmitt, are busy configuring their spacecraft for transearth injection, a burn that will rocket them out of lunar orbit and on a trajectory safely back to Planet Earth,” Alan Bean explains. “If they had the time to look out the window, they might see what we see, the stark lifeless beauty of the Crater Leuschner, bathed in a beautiful blue tinted reflected earthlight, with the magnificent blue and white Earth appearing to slip behind the lunar horizon for the last time. But they don’t, their focus is inside.

“It is about 5PM at Mission Control in Houston, Texas, on December 16, 1972, where we were in the final phase of completing the boldest era of exploration in history. The Apollo 17 crew’s mantra had been ‘The End of the Beginning.’ Apollo had done its work, taking humans 240,000 miles from the shores of our home planet and setting the stage for future exploration.

“But since this last glimpse 40 years ago, nobody has ventured further than 400 miles from Earth. Few of us realized then that humans would not return to the Moon to stay for a very, very long time. But when they do return, it will be on the shoulders of Apollo.

“I know that someday a new energy and quest for exploration will emerge from the leaders of our great nation to reach once again for the Moon and beyond, goals technically within our grasp, but not yet captured by their spirit. As we witness the Earth-set on this last orbit of the Moon by humans, Apollo’s place in history was complete: our work as the new explorers was done and it was time to pass the torch to others to fulfill the promise of Apollo.”

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. Our Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Edition Giclee of "A Window on the End of an Era" beautifully captures this element of his trademark style and each is signed by Astronaut, Explorer, Moonwalker and Artist, Alan Bean.

Alan Bean
Twelve people have walked on the moon. Only one was an explorer artist, Alan Bean—Apollo XII astronaut, commander of Skylab II and artist. Born in 1932 in Wheeler, Texas and in 1950, Alan was selected for an NROTC scholarship at the University of Texas at Austin. Alan was commissioned an ensign in the United States Navy in 1955. Holder of eleven world records in space and astronautics, 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. 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. A voracious student, Alan began to immerse himself in polishing his talent with the same intensity he gave to his astronaut training. Inspired by the impressionists and studying under contemporary masters, he is a first-rate artist who is as comfortable rendering sharp realism as he is with portraying subtle emotions through a faceless spacesuit— but there's a bonus: As the only artist who has visited another world, Bean paints with an authenticity and insight completely unique in the entire history of art by creating a palette mirroring his artistic eye. His is a personal portfolio of the golden era of space exploration as viewed by the only artist who has BEEN there. 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 explorer artist. 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.” He is pursuing this dream at his home and studio in Houston. Bean’s book, Apollo: An Eyewitness Account, which chronicles his first-person experience as an Apollo astronaut and explorer artist in words and paintings, was received with critical and popular acclaim upon its publication in 1998.


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