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Alan Bean - My Brother, Jim Irwin -  LIMITED EDITION CANVAS Published by the Greenwich Workshop

Jim Irwin was assigned as my back up for Apollo 12. He knew his job extremely well. I knew that if anything happened to me at the last minute, Jim would do an excellent job on our mission and fit right in with Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon.

It was easy to like Jim, he had a personality that suggested you could have a lot of confidence in him. He wasn’t an individual that tried to convince you that what he was doing was right or what you were doing was wrong. It was more like he wanted to work with you and find the best way to do something together.

He flew a wonderful flight on Apollo 15 in July, 1971. He and Dave Scott were on the moon for three days, in what I felt was the greatest mission of Apollo up to that point. Not only because theirs was the first extended lunar scientific expedition, but because of their skill. Dave Scott and Jim Irwin both worked extremely hard and displayed some heart irregularities. It was only after they got back that they discovered the extent of NASA’s concern for them and worry that this situation may have caused some permanent damage.

After all the post-flight activities were complete, Jim left NASA and founded High Flight, an interdenominational evangelical organization devoted to spreading his word, his witnessing, his experience to other people. Jim described being on the moon as a deeply spiritual experience. Less than two years later, Jim experienced the first of several serious heart attacks. He felt that his physical efforts on the moon, combined with the way the human body eliminates excessive potassium and other minerals in zero gravity, had damaged his heart. He died of a heart attack in 1991 at the age of sixty-one.

We used to see each other at astronaut reunions or accidentally in airports from time to time, and when we parted company, he would put his arm around me and say, “Well I hope to see you again soon, brother.” It was a surprise the first time as that isn’t the way one astronaut talks to another and I didn’t know what to say. After this happened a few times, I wanted to reply because I felt very close to him but I just couldn’t make myself say those words. Since I left the space program and became an artist, I think differently about myself and my life. I miss Jim a lot and I understand how I miss him and respect him as the brother I never had.

My Brother, Jim Irwin
by Alan Bean

See the Artist Biography
LIMITED EDITION CANVAS
Image size: 12"w x 15"h.
Limited Edition of: 100
$275.00

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can be found in these
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Aviation/Space
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Fine Art Canvas
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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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