Chesley Bonestell

Chesley Knight Bonestell, Jr. (January 1, 1888 – June 11, 1986) was an American painter, designer and illustrator.[2] His paintings were a major influence on science fiction art and illustration, and he helped inspire the American space program. An pioneering creator of astronomical art, along with the French astronomer-artist Lucien Rudaux, Bonestell was dubbed the "Father of Modern Space art".

Chesley Bonestell
Chesleybonestell
BornChesley Knight Bonestell, Jr.[1]
January 1, 1888
San Francisco, California U.Ss
DiedJune 11, 1986 (aged 98)
Carmel, California U.S.
OccupationArtist
Period1944–1986
SubjectScience, science fiction, space
Notable awardsKlumpke-Roberts Award (1976)
SpouseMary Hilton (1911–1918) (1940–1961)
Ruby Helder (1922–1938)
Hulda von Neumayer Ray (1962–1998)
ChildrenJane Bonestell (1912–1989)

Life and career

Early years

Bonestell was born in San Francisco, California. His first astronomical painting was done in 1905. After seeing Saturn through the 12-inch (300 mm) telescope at San Jose's Lick Observatory, he rushed home to paint what he had seen. The painting was destroyed in the fire that followed the 1906 earthquake. Between 1915 and 1918 he exhibited lithographs in the 4th and 7th annual exhibitions of the California Society of Etchers (now the California Society of Printmakers) in San Francisco.

Bonestell studied architecture at Columbia University in New York City. Dropping out in his third year, he worked as a renderer and designer for several of the leading architectural firms of the time. While with William van Alen, he and Warren Straton designed the art deco façade of the Chrysler Building as well as its distinctive eagles. During this same period, he designed the Plymouth Rock Memorial, the U.S. Supreme Court Building, the New York Central Building, Manhattan office and apartment buildings and several state capitols.[3]

Returning to the West Coast, he prepared illustrations of the chief engineer's plans for the Golden Gate Bridge for the benefit of funders. When the Great Depression dried up architectural work in the United States, Bonestell went to England, where he rendered architectural subjects for the Illustrated London News. In the late 1930s he moved to Hollywood, where he worked (without screen credit) as a special effects artist, creating matte paintings for films, including The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), Citizen Kane (1941) and The Magnificent Ambersons (1942).

Magazines

Galaxy 195102
Bonestell's first cover for Galaxy Science Fiction (Feb 1951), The Tying Down of a Spaceship on Mars in Desert Sandstorm
Beta Lyrae Reconstruction
The Beta Lyrae binary in the sky of an airless planet, after the painting by Chesley Bonestell.

Bonestell then realized that he could combine what he had learned about camera angles, miniature modeling, and painting techniques with his lifelong interest in astronomy. The result was a series of paintings of Saturn as seen from several of its moons that was published in Life in 1944. Nothing like these had ever been seen before: they looked as though photographers had been sent into space. His painting of Saturn seen from the frosty moon Titan[4] is perhaps the most famous astronomical landscape ever. It was constructed with a combination of clay models, photographic tricks and various painting techniques. (Titan has a thick haze; such a view is probably not possible in reality.)

Bonestell followed up the sensation these paintings created by publishing more paintings in many leading national magazines. These and others were eventually collected in the best-selling book The Conquest of Space (1949), produced in collaboration with author Willy Ley. Bonestell's last work in Hollywood was contributing special effects art and technical advice to the seminal science fiction films produced by George Pal, including Destination Moon, When Worlds Collide, The War of the Worlds and Conquest of Space, as well as Cat-Women of the Moon. Beginning with the October 1947 issue of Astounding Science Fiction, Bonestell painted more than 60 cover illustrations for science fiction magazines, primarily The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, in the 1950s through 1970s. He also illustrated many book covers.[1]

When Wernher von Braun organized a space flight symposium for Collier's, he invited Bonestell to illustrate his concepts for the future of spaceflight. For the first time, spaceflight was shown to be a matter of the near future. Von Braun and Bonestell showed that it could be accomplished with the technology then existing in the mid-1950s, and that the question was that of money and will. Coming as they did at the beginning of the Cold War and just before the sobering shock of the launch of Sputnik, the 1952–54 Collier's series, "Man Will Conquer Space Soon!", was instrumental in kick-starting America's space program.

In 1986, Bonestell died in Carmel, California, with an unfinished painting on his easel.[5]

Legacy

Bonestell Crater
Bonestell Crater, as seen by HiRISE. Scale bar is 1000 meters long.

During his lifetime, Bonestell was honored internationally for the contributions he made to the birth of modern astronautics, from a bronze medal awarded by the British Interplanetary Society to a place in the International Space Hall of Fame[6] to an asteroid named for him. The Conquest of Space won the 1951 International Fantasy Award for nonfiction, one of the first two fantasy or science fiction awards anywhere, at the British SF Convention.[7] The Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted Bonestell in 2005, the first year it considered non-literary contributors.[8][a]

His paintings are prized by collectors and institutions such as the National Air and Space Museum and the National Collection of Fine Arts. One of his classic paintings, an ethereally beautiful image of Saturn seen from its giant moon Titan, has been called "the painting that launched a thousand careers." Wernher von Braun wrote that he had "learned to respect, nay fear, this wonderful artist's obsession with perfection. My file cabinet is filled with sketches of rocket ships I had prepared to help in his artwork—only to have them returned to me with…blistering criticism."

A crater on Mars and the asteroid 3129 Bonestell are named after him.

In 2016 the first ever album of Sun Ra vocal tracks was released, The Space Age Is Here To Stay, featuring sleeve art authorized by the Bonestell estate.[10]

Books illustrated by Bonestell

  • Ley, Willy (1949), The Conquest of Space (Chesley Bonestell, Illustrator)
  • Across the Space Frontier (1952)
  • Braun, Wernher von; Fred Lawrence Whipple; Willy Ley (1953) [1952 (Collier's Man on the Moon)]. Cornelius Ryan, ed. Conquest of the Moon. Illustrated by Chesley Bonestell, Fred Freeman, Rolf Klep. New York: The Viking Press. Illustrations by Chesley Bonestell:
    • Constructing the moonships in the space station's orbit (endpapers)
    • The space station (p 11)
    • Spaceships coming in for a landing on the moon (p 63)
    • Landing on the moon (p 67)
    • Unloading the cargo ship on the moon (pp 76–77)
    • Exploration convoy crossing lunar plain (p 101)
    • Take-off from the moon (p 115)
  • Heuer, Kenneth (1953), The End of the World (Chesley Bonestell, Illustrator) (Reprinted and revised in 1957 as The Next Fifty Billion Years: An Astronomer's Glimpse into the Future, Viking Press)
  • The World We Live In (1955)
  • The Exploration of Mars (1956)
  • Man and the Moon (1961)
  • Rocket to the Moon (1961)
  • The Solar System (1961)
  • Beyond the Solar System (1964)
  • Mars (1964)
  • Beyond Jupiter (1972)
  • The Golden Era of the Missions (1974)
  • The Art of Chesley Bonestell, Ron Miller, Paper Tiger, (2001) ISBN 978-1855858848.

Films with artwork by Bonestell (abbreviated list)

Documentaries

Bonestell appeared in the documentary The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal (1985) (Produced and directed by Arnold Leibovit).

A documentary about his life, "Chesley Bonestell: A Brush with the Future," was produced in 2018. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7343526/ http://www.chesleybonestell.com/

Popular culture references

  • Arthur C. Clarke, in the 1953 story Jupiter Five, referred to Bonestell's astronomical illustrations appearing in Life Magazine in 1944.
  • Robert A. Heinlein made Bonestell's name into a verb first in his 1958 Juvenile Have Space Suit—Will Travel, then in his 1961 novel Stranger in a Strange Land: "Opener: zoom in on Mars, using stock or bonestelled shots, unbroken sequence, then dissolving to miniature matched set of actual landing place of Envoy".
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Tapestry", a young Captain Picard is involved in a fight with aliens at the Bonestell Recreation Facility, a spaceport named after the artist.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ After inducting 36 fantasy and science fiction writers and editors from 1996 to 2004, the hall of fame dropped "fantasy" and made non-literary contributors eligible. Alongside one writer, the first three were Bonestell in the "Art" category, "dynamation" animator Ray Harryhausen, and film-maker Steven Spielberg.[8][9]

References

  1. ^ a b Chesley Bonestell at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 8 April 2013. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
  2. ^ Chesley Bonestell (Photograph by Cedric Braun.) Chesley Bonestell Memorial Lecture Series, Each year, the Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy presents a lecture for the general public supported by funds from the Chesley Bonestell Memorial Lecture Endowment. – Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy
  3. ^ Chesley Bonestell Chronology, By Melvin H. Schuetz, 1999, uPublish.com Parkland Florida, ISBN 1-58112-829-0
  4. ^ Saturn as Seen from Titan Archived May 27, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., (1944)
  5. ^ OBITUARIES : Blended Astronomy and Art : Painter Chesley Bonestell, 98, DiesLos Angeles Times
  6. ^ Inductee Profile: Chesley K. Bonestell USA, Inducted in 1989, International Space Hall of Fame
  7. ^ "Bonestell, Chesley" Archived October 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.. The Locus Index to SF Awards: Index of Art Nominees. Locus Publications. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  8. ^ a b "It's Official! Inductees Named for 2005 Hall of Fame Class". Archived from the original on March 26, 2005. Retrieved August 30, 2016.. Press release March 24, 2005. Science Fiction Museum (sfhomeworld.org). Archived 26 March 2005. Retrieved 2013-03-22.
  9. ^ "Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame" Archived May 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.. Mid American Science Fiction and Fantasy Conventions, Inc. Retrieved 9 April 2013. This was the official website of the hall of fame to 2004.
  10. ^ Grady, Spencer (August 6, 2016). "Sun Ra Vinyl Salvos Ready For Blast Off". Jazz Wise Magazine. Retrieved 11 October 2016.

Other sources

  • Miller, Ron and Frederick C. Durant III (1983), Worlds Beyond: The Art of Chesley Bonestell, Walsworth Pub Co ISBN 978-0-89865-195-9
  • Miller, Ron and Frederick C. Durant III (2001), The Art of Chesley Bonestell (Forward by Melvin H. Schuetz), Paper Tiger ISBN 978-1-85585-884-8
  • Schuetz, Melvin H. (1999), Chesley Bonestell Space Art Chronology, Universal Publishers ISBN 978-1-58112-829-1
  • Schuetz, Melvin H. (2003), Supplement to A Chesley Bonestell Space Art Chronology ISBN 978-1581128291.
  • Tuck, Donald H., ed. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy Volumes 1 and 2. Chicago: Advent Publications, Inc., 1974.

External links

Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists

The Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists, ASFA, is a non-profit, educational association, whose membership is made up of amateur and professional artists, art directors, art show managers, publishers and collectors involved in the visual arts of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mythology and related topics. It is currently based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.ASFA's purpose is to encourage and develop amateur artistic talent, educate the public, publishers, patrons of the arts and anyone interested in works of these particularly types of art and craftsmanship in the rights, needs and problems of the people involved in the creation of this material.

Each year ASFA gives out the Chesley Awards, named for the great astronomical artist, Chesley Bonestell. The Chesleys were started in 1985 as a means for the SF and Fantasy art community to recognize individual works and achievements during the previous year.

Astronomical art

Astronomical art is the aspect of Space art devoted to visualizing the wonders of outer space. A major emphasis of such art is the space environment as a new frontier for Humanity. Many other works portray alien worlds, extremes of matter such as black holes, and concepts arising from inspiration derived from astronomy.

Astronomical art was largely pioneered in the 1940s and 50s by the abilities of Chesley Bonestell to solve formidable perspective problems, paint with the eye of a master matte artist to create a realistic visual impression, and to seek out the greatest experts in the fields which fascinated him. His work helped inspire many in the post war era to think about space travel, which seemed fantastic before the V-2 rocket. To this day numerous artists assist in bringing ideas into presentable form in the space community, both in portraying the latest ideas on how to leave Earth and in showing wonders awaiting us out there.

Astronomical Art is the most recent of several art movements which have explored the inspirational ideas emerging from ongoing exploration of Earth, (Hudson River school, or Luminism) the distant past, (ancient history and prehistoric animal art) and finally the steadily revealed universe. Most Astronomical artists use traditional painting methods or digital equivalents in a way which brings the viewer to the frontiers of human knowledge gathered in the exploration of space. Such works usually portray things in the familiar visual language of realism extrapolated to exotic environments whose details reflect ongoing knowledge and educated guesswork. An example of the process of creating astronomical art would be studying and visiting desert environments to experience something of what it might be like on Mars, and painting based on such experience. Another would be to hear of something likely to be amazing to watch close up, then seeking out published articles or experts in the field. Usually there is an artistic effort to emphasize the favorable visual elements just as a photographer composes a picture. The best astronomical art shares with the viewer what it is that catches the artists imagination about the subject portrayed.

Science Fiction magazines such as Fantasy and Science Fiction, Amazing, Astounding (later renamed Analog), and Galaxy served as a major outlet for the work of space and particularly astronomical artists in the 1950s. The several picture essay magazines of the time such as Life, Collier's, and Coronet were other major outlets for such art. Today astronomical art can be seen in magazines such as Sky and Telescope, The Planetary Report and occasionally in Scientific American. Individual web sites are by far the best place to see such work today. The NASA fine arts program has been an ongoing effort to hire artists to create works generally specific to a particular space project. This page is primarily devoted to what has traditionally been the most successful aspect of this program, the documenting of historical events in recognizable form by professional artists. The NASA Fine Arts Program operated in the era of seemingly unlimited progress at the time of the first head of that program, James Dean, although even then pictorial realism seemed a subset rather than a dominating visual influence.

The works which document space flight situations such as those referenced above are similar in concept to government efforts during World War II to send artists to battle zones to document things as they saw it, much of which appeared in contemporary Life magazines.

Another close parallel to Astronomical art is Dinosaur art. Both art schools explore unreachable realms with the intent to bring a sense of reality to them. The 'Grand Masters' of that field such as Charles R. Knight and Zdeněk Burian worked with experts in the field, using the best available information to create a realistic vision of something we can never behold with our own eyes. Ideally, as with Astronomical art, such a work tries to show what is known about the subject, with some educated guesswork to fill in the unknown and unknowable. We see more recent works by a healthy number of great dinosaur artists which reflect the growth in knowledge in body stances and likely feathers, etc. just as we see alien landscapes now painted which reveal the gathered knowledge instead of the craggy fantasies and the 'blue sky' Mars of yesteryear. Most of today's widely published space and astronomical artists have belonged since 1983 to the International Association of Astronomical Artists[1].

Bonestell (crater)

Bonestell is a crater in the Northern hemisphere in the Mare Acidalium quadrangle of Mars, located at 42.37° North and 30.57° West. It is 42.4 km in diameter and was named after Chesley Bonestell, a famous American space artist (1888-1986), whose drawings inspired many young people to study sciences.Impact craters generally have a rim with ejecta around them. In contrast, volcanic craters usually do not have a rim or ejecta deposits. As craters get larger (greater than 10 km in diameter) they usually have a central peak. The peak is caused by a rebound of the crater floor following the impact. If one measures the diameter of a crater, the original depth can be estimated with various ratios. Because of this relationship, researchers have found that many Martian craters contain a great deal of material; much of it is believed to be ice deposited when the climate was different. Sometimes craters expose layers that were buried. Rocks from deep underground are tossed onto the surface. Hence, craters can show us what lies deep under the surface.

Chesley Awards

The Chesley Awards were established in 1985 by the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists to recognize individual artistic works and achievements during a given year. The Chesleys were initially called the ASFA Awards, but were later renamed to honor famed astronomical artist Chesley Bonestell following his death in 1986. The awards are presented annually, typically at the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon).

Conquest of Space

Conquest of Space is a 1955 American Technicolor science fiction film from Paramount Pictures, produced by George Pal, directed by Byron Haskin, that stars Walter Brooke, Eric Fleming, and Mickey Shaughnessy.

The storyline concerns the first interplanetary flight to the planet Mars, manned by a crew of five, and launched from Earth orbit near "The Wheel", mankind's first space station. On their long journey to the Red Planet, they encounter various dangers, both from within and without, that nearly destroy the mission.

Don Davis (artist)

Don Davis (Donald E. Davis, born October 21, 1952) is a space artist known for his portrayals of space-related subjects. His work is characterised by attention to detail and authentic portrayals based on what is known of the subject. Chesley Bonestell, considered by many to be one of the most accomplished practitioners of the space art genre, critiqued Davis' early paintings and encouraged him to pursue an artistic career.Davis worked for the U. S. Geological Survey's branch of Astrogeologic Studies during the Apollo Lunar expeditions and has since painted many images for NASA. The NASA art included portrayals of interiors of giant space colonies, based on the work of Gerard O'Neill. He was part of the team of space artists gathered to provide the visual effects for the PBS series Cosmos by Carl Sagan. Later he painted the cover of Sagan's Pulitzer Prize–winning book The Dragons of Eden. Other books by Carl Sagan including Don's work are Comet and Pale Blue Dot.

Davis has made numerous paintings of impact events for publications and for NASA. In the early 1980s he created planetary texture maps for use in Jet Propulsion Laboratory computer graphic simulations of the Voyager encounters with the outer planets. During the 1980s and early 1990s Davis created models and film animations as part of the visual effects production teams for the PBS shows Planet Earth, Infinite Voyage, Space Age, and Life Beyond Earth with Timothy Ferris.

He painted and filmed in 35 mm an animation of the Galileo probe entry into Jupiter for NASA Ames. Numerous sequences for Discovery Channel science shows such as Savage Sun and Cosmic Safari were later created using computer graphic animation methods. Animations done in immersive hemispheric formats for planetarium type domed theaters now form the balance of his work.

Davis received an Emmy for his work on Cosmos, and the 2002 Klumpke-Roberts Award by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific for outstanding contributions to the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy. The asteroid 13330 Dondavis is named after him. In 2000 he was elected a Fellow in the International Association of Astronomical Artists.

Don Dixon (artist)

Don Dixon (born 1952) is an American astronomical artist practicing space art in the tradition of Chesley Bonestell.

Born in Easton, Pennsylvania, Dixon has created cover art for Scientific American, Sky and Telescope, Omni, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Astronomy Magazine, and many other publications. Dixon's paintings have been used to illustrate the covers of several science fiction books, such as the Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson and the Galactic Center Saga by Gregory Benford. He directed and co-wrote the immersive animated film Centered in the Universe, which premiered in 2006 at the Samuel Oschin Planetarium at Griffith Observatory, where he has served as Art Director since 1991. He is a founding member of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA) and was elected a Fellow of that organization in 2000.

Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist

The Hugo Awards are given every year by the World Science Fiction Society for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was once officially known as the Science Fiction Achievement Award. The award has been described as "a fine showcase for speculative fiction" and "the best known literary award for science fiction writing". The Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist is given each year for artists of works related to science fiction or fantasy released in the previous calendar year.The Professional Artist award has been given annually under several names since 1955, with the exception of 1957. The inaugural 1953 Hugo awards recognized "Best Interior Illustrator" and "Best Cover Artist" categories, awarded to Virgil Finlay and a tie between Hannes Bok and Ed Emshwiller, respectively. The Best Professional Artist award was simply named "Best Artist" in 1955 and 1956, was not awarded in 1957, and was named "Outstanding Artist" in 1958, finally changing to its current name the following year. Beginning in 1996 Retrospective Hugo Awards, or "Retro Hugos", have been available to be awarded for years 50, 75, or 100 years prior in which no awards were given. To date, Retro Hugo awards have been awarded for 1939, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1951, and 1954, and in each case an award for professional artist was given.Hugo Award nominees and winners are chosen by supporting or attending members of the annual World Science Fiction Convention, or Worldcon, and the presentation evening constitutes its central event. The selection process is defined in the World Science Fiction Society Constitution as instant-runoff voting with six nominees, except in the case of a tie. The works on the ballot are the six most-nominated by members that year, with no limit on the number of works that can be nominated. The awards in 1955 and 1958 did not include any recognition of runner-up artists, but since 1959 all six candidates have been recorded. Initial nominations are made by members in January through March, while voting on the ballot of six nominations is performed roughly in April through July, subject to change depending on when that year's Worldcon is held. Prior to 2017, the final ballot was five works; it was changed that year to six, with each initial nominator limited to five nominations. Worldcons are generally held near Labor Day, and in a different city around the world each year.During the 69 nomination years, 79 artists have been nominated; 23 of these have won, including co-winners and Retro Hugos. Michael Whelan has received the most awards, with 13 wins out of 24 nominations. Frank Kelly Freas has 11 wins and 28 nominations, the most nominations of any artist. Other artists with large numbers of wins or nominations include Bob Eggleton with 8 wins out of 23 nominations, Virgil Finlay with 4 out of 13, Ed Emshwiller with 4 out of 9, and Don Maitz with 2 out of 17. David A. Cherry and Thomas Canty are tied for the most nominations without an award at 10 each.

International Association of Astronomical Artists

The International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA), is a non-profit organization whose members implement and participate in astronomical and space art projects, promote education about space art and foster international cooperation in artistic work inspired by the exploration of the Universe.

The IAAA was founded in 1982 and was formally registered as an association of astronomical artists in 1986. Since its founding, the IAAA has grown to number over 120 members, representing twenty countries. The organization serves the community of artists creating works inspired by astronomy and outer space, serving as a networking resource on topics specific to the trade as well as issues common to professional artists. Although the early practitioners in the 1930s and 40s, such as Lucian Rudaux and Chesley Bonestell, (see Space Art) were realists, many IAAA artists produce work which is impressionistic, expressionistic, abstract or surreal; however, the majority (unlike science fiction and fantasy artists, who work almost purely from imagination) do have a background in astronomy, physics and mathematics which enables them to interpret accurately the data from observatories and space probes, and convert them into believable images.

They may also be called upon to depict those very probes and satellites (often working with NASA or JPL scientists) – for who is out there to photograph them? They paint in oils, acrylics, gouache and markers, use pens, pastels or coloured pencils, or the latest digital technology. But these artists have an advantage over mere technology, for they can travel where machines cannot; and this includes into the past, the future and faster than light.

A major activity of the IAAA is space art workshops, in most cases at remote locations with geology common to what has been discovered on other worlds. Iceland, Death Valley, Hawaii, The Colorado Plateau including Meteor Crater, and other locations with a sense of the unworldly about them have been visited in workshops. Painting and sketching such scenery outdoors helps in training the artist to know the landscape and the forces shaping it, as well as to reinforce the sensory impressions one is putting into their work of the effects of light and shade in the atmosphere.

List of space artists

This list of space artists includes artists who produce art about space, such as paintings of proposed space missions.

Chesley Bonestell

Don Dixon

Mark Dowman

Bob Eggleton

Danny Flynn

David A. Hardy

Mark Garlick

Rick Guidice

Robert McCall (Bob McCall)

Syd Mead

Ron Miller

Walter Myers

Pat Rawlings

Rick Sternbach

James VaughnAstronaut space artists:

Alan Bean

Nicole Stott

Man Will Conquer Space Soon!

"Man Will Conquer Space Soon!" was the title of a famous series of 1950s magazine articles in Collier's detailing Wernher von Braun's plans for manned spaceflight. Edited by Cornelius Ryan, the individual articles were authored by such space notables of the time as Willy Ley, Fred Lawrence Whipple, Dr. Joseph Kaplan, Dr. Heinz Haber, and von Braun. The articles were illustrated with paintings and drawings by Chesley Bonestell, Fred Freeman, and Rolf Klep, some of the finest magazine illustrators of the time.

Ron Miller (artist and author)

Ron Miller (born May 8, 1947) is an American illustrator and writer who lives and works in South Boston, Virginia. He now specializes in astronomical, astronautical and science fiction books for adults and young adults.

Miller was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He holds a BFA from Columbus, Ohio, College of Art and Design. He worked as a commercial artist and designer for six years, before taking a position as art director for the National Air and Space Museum's Albert Einstein Planetarium. He left there in 1977 to become a freelance illustrator and author; to date he has nearly sixty book titles to his credit, and his illustrations have appeared on hundreds of book jackets, book interiors and in magazines such as National Geographic, Reader's Digest, Scientific American, Smithsonian, Analog, Starlog, Air & Space, Astronomy, Sky & Telescope, Science et Vie, Newsweek, Natural History, Discover, GEO and others.Miller has translated and illustrated new editions of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, From the Earth to the Moon and Journey to the Center of the Earth as well as a companion/atlas to Verne's works, Extraordinary Voyages. He has acted as a consultant on Verne for Walt Disney Imagineering (for the Paris Disneyland) and A&E Television Network's Biography series. Miller's book The Dream Machines, a comprehensive 744-page history of manned spacecraft, was nominated for the International Astronautical Federation's Manuscript Award and won the Booklist Editor's Choice Award. His original paintings are in numerous private and public collections, including the Smithsonian Institution and the Pushkin Museum (Moscow).

He designed a set of ten commemorative postage stamps for the U.S. Postal Service. One of the stamps in the Space Exploration series (1991), is credited with helping inspire the New Horizons mission to that planet. The Pluto stamp was attached to the spacecraft before launch. He has been a production illustrator for motion pictures, notably Dune and an unproduced version of Total Recall; and he designed and co-wrote the computer-generated show ride film, Comet Impact! for SimEx. He has provided concept and special effects art for numerous other films. Most recently he was a co-producer of the documentary film, "A Brush With the Future." Miller has taken part in international space art workshops and exhibitions, including seminal sessions held in Iceland and the Soviet Union. He was invited by the Soviet government to the 30th anniversary celebration of the launch of Sputnik, and has lectured on space art and space history in the United States, France, Japan, Italy and Great Britain. He was featured on Hour 25 Science Fiction Radio program in early 2003.An authority on the work of astronomical artist Chesley Bonestell, his book The Art of Chesley Bonestell received a Hugo Award in 2002. A feature-length documentary based on this book, "A Brush With the Future," for which he was co-producer, won the Audience Award at the Newport Beach Film Festival and Best Documentary at the San Diego Comic Con. Other books have received awards, including a Silver Award for best fiction from ForeWord magazine for Palaces & Prisons and the Violet Crown Award from the Writers' League of Texas for Bradamant. His Worlds Beyond series received the American Institute of Physics Award of Excellence. The Grand Tour has gone through three editions, multiple printings, several translations, was a Hugo Award nominee and has sold over 250,000 copies. It was also twice a Book-of-the-Month feature selection. This and other books have been selections of the Science, Quality Paperback and Science Fiction Book Clubs. His book, Digital Art, was listed on the VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) Nonfiction Honor List in 2009. In all, he has 75 works in 142 publications in 6 languages in 16,977 libraries world-wide.Miller has been on the faculty of the International Space University. He is a contributing editor for Air & Space/Smithsonian magazine; a member of the International Academy of Astronautics; a member of the History Committee of the American Astronautical Society; a Life Member, Fellow and past Trustee of the International Association of Astronomical Artists; an Honorary Member of the Sociétè Jules Verne (Paris); a past member of the North American Jules Verne Society and a past Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society.

A recent project has been Black Cat Press, which Miller has devoted to publishing new editions of rare and obscure science fiction, fantasy and science fact books. Among these are new, original translations of several Jules Verne novels.

Space art

"Space art" (also "astronomical art") is the term for a genre of modern artistic expression that strives to show the wonders of the Universe. Like other genres, Space Art has many facets and encompasses realism, impressionism, hardware art, sculpture, abstract imagery, even zoological art. Though artists have been making art with astronomical elements for a long time, the genre of Space Art itself is still in its infancy, having begun only when humanity gained the ability to look off our world and artistically depicted what we see out there. Whatever the stylistic path, the artist is generally attempting to communicate ideas somehow related to space, often including an appreciation of the infinite variety and vastness which surrounds us. In some cases, artists who consider themselves Space Artists use more than illustration and painting to communicate scientific discoveries or works depicting space, some have had the opportunity to work directly with space flight technology and scientists in attempts to expand the arts, humanities, and cultural expression relative to space exploration.

Practitioners of the visual arts have for many decades explored space in their imaginations using traditional painting media and many are now using digital media toward similar ends. Science fiction magazines and picture essay magazines were once a major outlet for Space Art, often featuring planets, space ships and dramatic alien landscapes. Chesley Bonestell, R. A. Smith, Lucien Rudaux, David A. Hardy and Ludek Pesek were some of the major artists in the early days of the genre actively involved in visualizing space exploration proposals with input from astronomers and experts in the infant rocketry field anxious to spread their ideas to a wider audience. (Indeed, NASA's second administrator, James E. Webb, initiated the space agency's Space Art program in 1962, four years after its founding.) A strength of Bonestell's work in particular was the portrayal of exotic worlds with their own alien beauty, often giving a sense of destination as much as of the technological means of getting there.

Spaceship Warlock

Spaceship Warlock is an adventure game created by Mike Saenz and Joe Sparks. The game was released in 1991 for the Macintosh and in 1994 for Windows.

The game was a first person adventure set in a sci-fi future. The player explores and interacts the game universe by clicking. Limited manipulation of objects is needed and there are several optional locations and things the player can explore or discover besides following the linear narrative. Dialogues involve typing a topic to a character such as "whiskey", "Terra" or "pirates". Some arcade sequences enrich the gameplay.

Spaceship Warlock was one of the earliest and best-known multimedia CD-ROM games to combine all original animation, story, music, and game play. The game menu refers to itself as a movie. Graphically ahead of its time and acquired a cult following. Spaceship Warlock is widely considered a pioneering work, and it received many awards and honors, including the "Game of the Year" award from Macworld magazine.

Some of the game's outer space scenes are reminiscent of the art of Chesley Bonestell.

Terraform (album)

Terraform is the second full-length record by Shellac, released in 1998.

The Conquest of Space

The Conquest of Space is a 1949 speculative science book written by Willy Ley and illustrated by Chesley Bonestell. The book contains a portfolio of paintings by Bonestell depicting the possible future exploration of the Solar System, with explanatory text by Ley.

Of the 58 illustrations by Bonestell in Conquest, most had been published previously, in color, in magazines.

The Mars Project

The Mars Project (German: Das Marsprojekt) is a non-fiction scientific book by the German (later German-American) rocket physicist, astronautics engineer and space architect, Wernher von Braun. It was translated from the original German by Henry J. White and first published in English by the University of Illinois Press in 1953.

The Mars Project is a technical specification for a manned expedition to Mars. It was written by von Braun in 1948 and was the first "technically comprehensive design" for such an expedition. The book has been described as "the most influential book on planning human missions to Mars".

When Worlds Collide (1951 film)

When Worlds Collide! is a 1951 American Technicolor science fiction film from Paramount Pictures, produced by George Pal, directed by Rudolph Maté, that stars Richard Derr, Barbara Rush, Peter Hansen, and John Hoyt. The film is based on the 1932 science fiction novel of the same name, co-written by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer.The plot concerns the coming destruction of the Earth by a rogue star called Bellus and the desperate efforts to build a space ark to transport a group of men and women to Bellus' single planet, Zyra.

William Kenneth Hartmann

William Kenneth Hartmann (born June 6, 1939) is a noted planetary scientist, artist, author, and writer. He was the first to convince the scientific mainstream that the Earth had once been hit by a planet sized body (Theia), creating both the moon and the Earth's 23.5° tilt.Born in Pennsylvania in 1939, he received his B.S. in physics from Pennsylvania State University, and an M.S. in geology and PhD in astronomy from the University of Arizona. His career spans over 40 years, from work in the early 1960s with Gerard Kuiper on Mare Orientale, and work on the Mariner 9 Mars mapping project, to current work on the Mars Global Surveyor imaging team. He is currently a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute.

He has long been one of America's leading space artists (strongly influenced by Chesley Bonestell), and has written and illustrated numerous books on the history of Earth and the Solar System, often in collaboration with artist Ron Miller.

Hartmann is a Fellow of the International Association of Astronomical Artists. His written work also includes textbooks, short fiction, and novels, the most recent being published in 2003. In 1997 he was the first recipient of the Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Public Communication in Planetary Science from the American Astronomical Society, Division for Planetary Sciences.

Hartmann was a member of the 1966–1968 University of Colorado UFO Project (informally known as the Condon Committee), a controversial public study of UFOs sponsored by the U.S. Air Force. He primarily investigated photographic evidence, and rejected most as unreliable or inconclusive; in his studies published in the Committee's final report, he concluded two cases - Great Falls (motion pictures of two bright light sources difficult to reconcile with known aircraft) and McMinnville (two photographs of a saucer-shaped craft) - were unexplained and particularly noteworthy as probative evidence of the reality of UFOs.

Asteroid 3341 Hartmann is named after him.

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