On exhibit at the Cosmosphere since 2006, includes original Letter of Transmittal and Bill of SaleAlan Bean Original 2005 Painting "Our World At My Fingertips," Textured Acrylic with Moondust on Aircraft Plywood, Museum Framed. A stunning and unique 23.5" x 17.5" painting of Bean on the moon viewing the whole Earth between the thumb and forefinger of his gloved hand. Beautifully framed to an overall 33" x 28". This painting was commissioned by the late Tom McFadden who worked very closely with Bean on the design and execution as noted in Bean's included letter and Bill of Sale to Tom's widow, Stacy. It was originally exhibited at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio. Then, in 2006, it was loaned to The Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas, where it has been until its shipment to Heritage for this auction, as confirmed by the included letter from the Museum President and C.O.O. Jim Remar. On the verso is the story behind the painting, information on the care of this fine piece of art, and an explanation of his techniques and materials including an explanation of his use of Apollo 12 flown materials mixed in with the texturizing compound. A centerpiece for any Space or Art collection. Excellent. From the family collection of the late Tom McFadden.
Alan Bean gives the background as follows: "Looking up at the Earth, I could see my home 240,000 miles away. I moved into my spacecraft¹s shadow to get a better view without squinting. It was a brilliant blue and white world floating in a shiney black sky. From this great distance, the collective problems of an entire planet are small beyond recognition. If there really are angels, is this the view they see? Reaching up, I balanced the Earth between my gloved thumb and forefinger. Our world, the whole earth was safely cradled in my fingertips.
"Looking down at the Moon, the crisp gray dust was a perfect pallet to contrast earth. From a distance, Monet might have painted our planet as a brilliant blue blur. Some truly great paintings are best appreciated that way.
"At first, it may seem I have painted my right finger incorrectly, not pointing at the Earth. Not so. I have purposely painted it a little lower and to the right of the Earth due to the effect of parallax.
"How small our Earth is in the infinite universe. Someday, when future explorers look back from Mars, our precious home will be but a dim star. Our planet may be small but we are fortunate indeed. Consider the fact that with all the millions of telescopes humans have created and used, and all the hundreds of space probes we¹ve rocketed out into the universe, Earth is still the most beautiful world we have ever seen. How lucky we are!"
Alan Bean's Letter of Transmittal to Tom McFadden's widow, dated July 1, 2006, reads as follows: "It is with joy and a little sadness I send this painting to you. Tom and I liked it so much, as did the viewers at the Butler Museum in Youngstown, Ohio. He did so much to make the painting what you see now. My folder is packed with e mails, photos, computer generated images, sketches that he sent to me when we were creating the painting together. What you see is more Tom than Alan..." Included is his handwritten Bill of Sale for $43,179.53 as well as his hand-notated transparency and photo. Also, a group of rough sketch copies (one original) from McFadden's files. Interestingly, the original working title was "Our World In My Hands."
Also included with this lot is a letter from the Cosmosphere dated August 31, 2016. It reads as follows: "The 'Our World at my Fingertips' painting by Alan Bean has been on loan to the Cosmosphere since September 2006. Stacy McFadden was the lender, and all credits for the loan were listed as, on loan from the Tom McFadden Family.
"The painting has been on display in various areas of our museum since its arrival here until last week when it was removed for shipment per the lender's request. Since April 2010, "Our World at my Fingertips" has been on display in the Cosmosphere's Hall of Space museum's Lunar Surface exhibit.
"The Cosmosphere is grateful for the opportunity to have displayed Alan Bean's artwork in our museum for almost 10 years. We hope the future owner of the artwork appreciates the history and beauty Mr. Bean created in his artwork. Jim Remar. President/COO"
Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Framed - without Glass, Large (view shipping information)
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