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"Alan Bean: An Artist on the Moon"
2005-10-16 until 2005-12-31
Butler Institute of American Art
Youngstown, OH, USA

Dr. Louis Zona, Director and Chief Curator of the Butler Institute of American Art of Youngstown, Ohio, announced that the museum will present the U.S. premier of a major exhibition of paintings by the celebrated American artist, explorer and moonwalker, Captain Alan Bean. The exhibition, Alan Bean: An Artist on the Moon will be on view from October 15 through December 31, 2005 at the Butlerís main location at 524 Wick Avenue Youngstown, Ohio.

Growing out of Butler Museum of American Artís commitment to more effectively serve its national, local and international audiences, the exhibition will enable visitors to travel though through space and explore the lunar landscape through the eyes of Captain Alan Bean. In addition to Captain Beanís paintings that chronicle the Apollo missions to the moon, the exhibition will evoke the look and atmosphere of space with sketches, drawings, photographs, notes, film and the sounds of deep space. When Alan Bean walked on the moon as an American astronaut, he became the first and only artist to experience the lunar landscape. For centuries, illustrators had been fascinated with the moonís mysteries and created imagined lunar experiences. Captain Alan Bean actually walked this landscape and through his artistís gift of detailed observation, curiosity, and technical facility has been able to share his monumental experiences on a planet over 200,000 miles away, to create a living legacy to share with all of humankind.

ďI have been fortunate enough to see sights no other artist has ever seen,Ē said Captain Bean. ďI hope to communicate these experiences by creating paintings, or documents of art, that record mankindís first exploration of another world. Space is our frontier and its exploration may be our generationís greatest contribution to human history.Ē

Dr. Louis Zona, Director and Chief Curator of The Butler Institute of American Art, compares Captain Beanís art to the 19th century western landscapes of Bierstadt and Thomas Moran. ďBoth of these artists were actually doing much more than documenting geography. They were in fact creating powerful and engaging works of art that are aesthetically splendid. Viewed as their contemporary counterparts, Alan Beanís paintings with their magical sense of light and wondrous ability to reveal subtleties serve to delight us on purely aesthetic levels, independent of their scientific message. Great art, after all, speaks in universals and moves well beyond message. Just as those who are not aware of the religious significance can appreciate Michelangelo's works, the art of Alan Bean, I believe, will have a staying power by virtue of the skillful application of paint, outstanding composition and overall artistry. Generations to come may indeed place the name Alan Bean next to that of Bierstadt and Moran. It would certainly be appropriate.Ē


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