Astronaut Art

Moon-walking Apollo Astronaut Turns Artist

Apollo astronaut Alan L. Bean, who walked on the moon nearly 40 years ago, has recaptured his experience in paint. The subject of an exhibition that opens in July at the Washington’s Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, the 77-year old astronaut-turned-artist hasn’t received critical acclaim for his work but collector’s have paid as much as $175,000 for one of his works. “When I left NASA, I made up my mind I was not going to be an astronaut who painted, but an artist who used to be an astronaut,” he said. “It takes a while to change the heart.” He started out painting flowers and fruits in the 1960s but switched his space missions in the late ‘70s, at the encouragement of his fellows Apollo astronauts, who told him he was the only artist to ever visit the moon.