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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Chesley Bonestell Space Art

Chesley Bonestell (1888 – 11 June 1986) is an famous space artist, designer, and illustrator. His paintings were a major influence on science fiction art and illustration, and he helped inspire the American Space Program. Below is a selection of space paintings by Chesley Bonestell.

Chesley Bonestell was the father of modern space art. His paintings were a major influence on science fiction art and illustration, and he helped inspire the American space program. Artist and architect whose imaginative and technically authentic depictions of spacecraft and other worlds had a powerful effect on people in the decade before the start of the Space Age. His career spanned nearly a century, from his early architectural work on the Golden Gate Bridge and the Chrysler Building to his seminal contributions to the beginnings of the American space program. Bonestell inspired an entire generation of astronomers, artists, writers, engineers and visionaries with his remarkable paintings. Chesley Bonestell illustrated many pictorial books on astronomy & space flight during his career. Living to the age of 98, he saw the entire scope of manned flight, and himself influenced mankind's push into outer space. By then he had been honored internationally for the contribution 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 to an asteroid named for him. His paintings are prized by collectors and institutions such as the National Air and Space Museum and the National Collection of Fine Arts. Wernher von Braun, the leader of the German rocket team who had come to the U.S. after World War II: "Chesley Bonestell’s pictures ... present the most accurate portrayal of those faraway heavenly bodies that modern science can offer."

Official sites: Chesley Bonestell Space Art and The Chesley Bonestell Archives

Great scans from an old magazine article: Mr. Smith Goes to Venus. Illustrations by Chesley Bonestell. Coronet Magazine (1950).

Wikipedia: Chesley Bonestell

Art Books: "The Art of Chesley Bonestell" by Ron Miller and Frederick C. Durant III with Melvin Schuetz is a compilation of Chesley Bonestell's paintings. The book contains more than 300 illustrations, 200 in full color, and a full-length biography of the artist. "A Chesley Bonestell Space Art Chronology" contains well over 700 entries and is the definitive reference guide to publications containing Bonestell's space art. You can buy these books from please use the link below.

The Art of Chesley Bonestell
by Ron Miller and Frederick C. Durant III with Melvin Schuetz

To order this book from, click here.

The Art of Chesley Bonestell

Book Description: The Art of Chesley Bonestell, by Ron Miller and Frederick C. Durante, with a foreword by Sir Arthur C. Clarke, showcases more than 300 drawings by the renowned architect and space artist, from illustrations of the chief engineer's plans for the Golden Gate Bridge (for the benefit of funders); to his favorite among his paintings, The Engulfed Cathedral A Fantasy; to his pre-space-travel lunar and Martian landscapes for magazines like Galaxy and Astounding.
From Publishers Weekly. © Cahners Business Information, Inc.

A Chesley Bonestell Space Art Chronology
by Melvin H. Schuetz

To order this book from, click here.

A Chesley Bonestell Space Art Chronology

Book Description: A Chesley Bonestell Space Art Chronology is a 250-page book contains some 750 entries that catalog virtually every appearance in print of Bonestell's space art from 1944 to the present. The contents, among other things, include an essay on Bonestell by Ron Miller, a chronological biography compiled by Hulda Bonestell and Schuetz, and three indexes. This book is an invaluable resource for the Bonestell enthusiast and collector.
© Bonestell Space Art.