On November 24th, 1969, 37 year-old Alan Bean became the fourth man to walk on the surface of the moon. As a part of the crew of Apollo 12, Bean piloted the Lunar Module and, along with Pete Conrad, he spent a day and 7 hours on the lunar surface. Four years later, Bean would return to space as a part of the Skylab 3 mission.
When Bean retired from NASA in 1981, he devoted himself to painting. As Bean explained it, being an astronaut gave him a chance to see things that no one else had ever gotten a chance to see and he hoped that, through his paintings, he could allow others the chance to experience what he experienced. For his paintings of the moon, Bean would often add small patches of actual lunar dust.
Bean passed away on May 26th but he left behind two proud legacies, one of exploration and one of art. Below are just a few of Bean’s lunar paintings. More can be seen at his website.