.. A Space Art Trip to the Moon
Kurdistan Planetarium. Music by Laura
Space art ranges from hard-edged graphic arts realism
to fine art abstractionism. Regardless of the style,
good space art illuminates the special excitement, mystery
and attraction of the cosmos.
Space art comes second only to science fiction in the
power to inspire the public's interest and support for
of space art goes back to at least the late 1800's with
the illustrations for the books of Jules Verne and for
the first popular books about astronomy.
From science fiction book covers to the illustrations
in non-fiction space books, artists took us into space
with their visual imaginations long before our spacecraft
for the hobbyist:
Collect space art. Original
works and signed prints by famous space artists
such as Chesley Bonestell
and Alan Bean and the many up
and coming new artists, can be obtained from galleries
and shows specializing in space art. Also, the works
of many artists are now available for purchase over
Collect magazine covers and books
where classic space artworks first appeared. Try
used-book stores and flea markets for old copies
of magazines such as Colliers, and for science-fiction
and non-fiction space and astronomy books.
Dream Rocket program aims to connect
space, education and art via a huge collaborative
The Dream Rocket is reaching out
to students, teachers, schools, individuals,
groups and organizations to create and submit
over 8,000 "Dream Theme" or "Visionary" panels
that will be sewn together in Huntsville,
Alabama. This historical 30,467-square foot
quilt will represent dreams from all over
the world. During May and June of 2010, (60
days) this quilt will completely wrap the
363-foot vertical Saturn V Rocket which stands
in front of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center®
in Huntsville, Alabama.
Chesley Bonestell's paintings and illustrations played
a big part in raising early public interest and enthusiasm
for space travel, especially his famous illustrations
for Werner von Braun's space books and magazine articles
in the 1950's.
Bonestell combined the graphic artist's eye for realism
and accuracy with his own unique visual story-telling
talents. While his rockets and space stations today
have a somewhat retro look, his style is instantly
recognizable and remains very appealing.
In fact many of us old space cadets know that this
is the way rockets and spaceships are supposed to look!
Bonestell Space Art is the authorized dealer for most
of Bonestell's work. It is administered by Frederick
Durant and Ron
Miller. The site includes a gallery of many of
his most famous works.
Melvin Schuetz has recently written a book that provides
an extensive bibliography of publications with Bonestell's
art between 1944 to 1998.
A Chesley Bonestell Space Art Chronology
can be ordered (or a PDF version downloaded) from
Publishers as well as from other online bookstores.
Colliers Magazine - 8 issues of the magazine
between 1952-1954 included articles by Dr. Wernher
von Braun, Willy Ley and other space visionaries and
included wonderful artwork by Chesley Bonestell, Fred
Freeman and Rolf Klep. The articles had a big impact
on public perceptions in the US on the feasibility
of space travel. Reprints of the series can be found:
The fourth man to walk on the moon, Alan
Bean gave up the astronaut life at the age of 49
to start a new career as an artist. He has developed
a strongly realistic yet expressive style that has established
him in the top echelons of space artists.
Note that he puts a bit of the Moon into every
painting. NASA allowed the astronauts to keep the patches
and insignias from their spacesuits. Bean realized years
later that they were impregnated with moon dust. Now
he puts bits of them into his painting medium.
David A. Hardy
has for many years been one of the top British space
artists with illustrations in countless magazines, SF
book covers, and astronomy books.
He has been a strong advocate for space art and was
formerly president of the IAAA
(International Association of Astronomical Artists).
He wrote the Visions
of Space book about the history of space
art and also has recently released a new book, HARDYWARE:
The Art of David A. Hardy, about his own
work. His web site displays several works about Space
Tourism that he created for an exhibition on the
International Space Station.
- Hardy's home page that includes a gallery and store.
Robert McCall is well known from his covers and illustrations
for Life Magzine in the 1960's, from his posters for
2001 Space Odyssey, murals at the Air & Space
Museum, and countless other encounters with his space
paintings in books and magazines.
art director at SAIC,
has become one of the most popular artists in the world
of aerospace. NASA and companies love to use his imagination
and talents to preview what their future rockets and
spacecraft will look like in action.
He also creates wonderful planetscapes and likes to
put well-rendered human figures there on those worlds
(just where they should be!)
These artists may not like to
be referred to as amateurs since their work is of professional
quality. However, in the spirit of HobbySpace,
they demonstrate how far one can go in pursuing this
wonderful space hobby.
Belbruno is a mathematician at Princeton who specializes
in celestial mechanics, astrodynamcis, chaos theory
and other areas. He also is a successful painter who
often portrays space related scenes.
Dorreman's site presents some beautiful space
paintings in addition to his astrophotography. (He
was one of the first satellite watchers to see and
Durda is a planetary scientist at the Southwest
Research Institute in Colorado. He is also a fine
space artist whose work has appeared in Sky &
Telescope, the Planetary Report and many other publications.
Hartmann is a space scientist who also writes
and paints. He now works at the Planetary Science
Institute (PSI) in Tucson, Arizona. He won in 1997
the Carl Sagan Medal for communication of science
to the public. His paintings have been exhibited
extensively and published in many magazines.
Scotti is a researcher at the Lunar and Planetary
Laboratory at the Univ. of Arizona, Tucson. He presents
here his space related paintings and drawings.
Phil works as a space analyst in his day job and then
does space art in his spare time.
Wojtowicz is a medical doctor in Poland who has established
himself as a top rate space & sci-fi artist as
well. (He also maintains the Slawek's
Ultimate Guide to sci-fi art on the web.)
Very Incomplete List of Space Artists
Here is a just
a sampling of space artists whose work is displayed
on the web. See the other space
art sites below for more extensive listings.
This award-winning site features Michael Carroll's space
art who has done commissions for NASA and JPL and whose
work has appeared in many books, magazines, album covers,
and on TV.
Lynette Cook's art includes many astronomical illustrations
and covers for magazines and books. Commissions have
included Sky & Telescope, Astronomy, Science News
and others. See her galleries
including a selection dealing with extrasolar
Brian Smallwood currently does art work for the BBC's
Sky At Night astronomy program with Patrick Moore.
The site features images of his space visions.
Stewart is a freelance artist who specializes in space,
science fiction and fantasy art. His particularly likes
to work with the airbrush. He has had a joint exhibition
show with David A Hardy.
The C.P.Vick Space
Detail illustrations of military satellites, missiles
and launch vehicles. (Unfortunately, the gallery previously
available on the Federation of American Scientists (FAS)
website has been removed.)
Art - presentation at the August 2013 Starship
Congress about how he was drawn toward sci-fi
and space art as a kid and how he developed his
skills and techniques, and who his major influences
Ernst Prey - primarily a landscape watercolorist
but she has done some space paintings under commission
for NASA. On her website,
select "Gallery" and then "Commissions" from the menu
to see her space paintings.
Huge collection of art and artist links in space,
Sci-Fi .and fantasy. Collected by Slawek Wojtowicz
who creates space
and sci-fi art of his own including the covers
of a number of sci-fi books.
Hardyware: The Art of David A. Hardy
C. Morgan, S. Baxter, D. A. Hardy- 2001
" A retrospective of the life and work of David
A Hardy, the world's longest-established space artist, and a former President
of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA)"
The Art of
Ron Miller, Frederick C. Durant III - 2001
Finally a book with a broad selection of Bonestell's
glorious space art. Bonestell's marvelous visions of space helped prepare
the public of the 1940s and '50s for the space age and continue to inspire
Visions of Spaceflight : Images
from the Ordway Collection
Frederick Ordway - 2001