A Window on the End of an Era
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.