|After 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
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
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.