Friday, June 10, 2016

Men Travel in Space (1971)

A small but interesting British children's book.  I like the 4 (3 plates plus cover) color paintings in this book.  It feels more 1960s but I like how the artist brings impressionism to their space art. This illustration below must have had a different "resonance" for British children of the time.

Humphrys, Leslie George.  Illustrated by J.V. Clibbon.. Men travel in space. Oxford: Blackwell. 61 p. 21 cm. Blackwell's learning library ;; no. 56 1971

This charming illustration of launching a rocket brings back my own memories of the power and joy of getting to light a rocket and watch it take off. It was always too short a flight but that just meant I got to do it again.

These illustrations seem dated but they convey the need for testing and teaching humans to go into space.

Re-entry is a favorite scene that artists attempt. The temperatures and speed involved mean the artist can emphasize how it is just a single (or a few) man against forces that seem impossible to endure.

The technology of space flight also inspires even this children's artist to depict some very strange looking scenes.

And finally, the most surreal scene of the 20th century, mem walking on the Moon. I appreciate Alan Bean for being courageous enough to try and paint what it felt like to be there. This scene will inspire artists for centuries to come. (But hopefully even better ones will come along).

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