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Photo Credit and Image Copyright: EarthToTheMoon.com Photo Credit: NASA
Playing In A 4
                          Billion Year Old Rock Garden Alan Bean
                          Original PaintingAfter Apollo 12 Moonwalker Alan Bean left his career at NASA he became a very accomplished artist. He specialized in portraying the exploration of the Moon.

This painting shown here is an original Alan Bean acrylic painting completed in 1983.

It is titled "Playing In A 4 Billion Year Old Rock Garden."

The painting show Apollo 17 Lunar Module Pilot and Geologist Harrison Schmitt using a rake to collect medium sized rock samples on the lunar surface at Taurus Littrow.

On October 15, 2005, this original painting was placed up for auction at the Aurora Galleries Space & Aviation Memorabilia Auction.  This was lot number 316 in that auction.  The description of this lot in the auction catalog stated : "316 : "Playing In A 4 Billion Year Old Rock Garden" Original Painting by Alan Bean (1983) This exquisite early Bean oil (sic) painting is accompanied by a framed description by Bean which reads "Jack Schmitt using the lunar rake.  It was designed to collect medium sized rocks more quickly than any other method we could think up.  Jack Schmitt was like a kid in a candy store. The first geologist on the Moon.  What better place for a scientist in this generation.  In the painting, we can see the entire backpack.  The larger lower module is the portable life support system, or PLSS,  which provides oxygen to breath and pressurize the suit, water to cool the astronaut, and two-way radio communications.  The smaller upper module is the oxygen purge system, which was carried for emergency situations such as failure of the PLSS or a space suit leak.  Fortunately, we never had either.  A sample bag can be seen on the side of the PLSS.  It makes a convenient place to store lunar rock samples.  We all studied geology in our pre-flight training, as it was NASA's idea that it was easier to make geologists out of test pilots than the other way around.  Easier maybe but I think Jack will agree not as much fun."  This is one of Bean's more realistic style of paintings.  Excellent condition and mounted in a gold "antiqued" wooden frame (22x31")."

The Earth To The Moon Air &  Space Museum acquired this artifact from the Aurora auction.  After taking position of the painting, it was felt that the wooden frame that it came with did not due the painting full justice.  It deserved a better mounting so it was professionally re-framed using a more exquisite and bold silver wooden frame.

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UPDATED : April 2, 2008
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