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Alan Bean - IN THE BEGINNING... -  LIMITED EDITION PRINT Published by the Greenwich Workshop

          IN THE BEGINNING...
by Alan Bean

Original Retail Price $600.00
May Not Reflect Current Price

Limited Edition of: 1000
Image Size: 15"w x 17 1/4"h.
Published: September 1994

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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).

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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