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Chesley Bonestell: A Brush With The Future

Chesley Bonestell: A Brush With The Future, is a feature length documentary about the life, work, and influence of “The Father of Space Art.”

Long before spacecraft would journey to the planets or deep-space telescopes photographed distant galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters, there was an artist whose dazzling visions of space would capture the imaginations of all who beheld them. With his art, he helped inspire America’s space program, NASA, and many of the scientists, engineers, technicians, and astronauts who would one day put us on the Moon. Before that, he was an architect working on projects like the Chrysler Building and the Golden Gate Bridge. He would later be recruited by Hollywood to create matte paintings for films such as Citizen Kane and Destination Moon.

Who was this man? His name was Chesley Bonestell.

The film is sponsored by the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society, the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium, and the Central Arkansas Library System.

About the film

What do the Chrysler Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, the films Citizen Kane and Destination Moon and America’s space program have in common? They were all touched by the creative vision of a forgotten artist named ChesleyBonestell (1888-1986). Chesley Bonestell: A Brush with the Future is the first-ever documentary to focus on the amazing life and works of “The Father of Space Art.” Bonestell’s paintings of worlds beyond our own helped create America’s space program. On the eve of celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the lunar landing, it can be said thatChesley was a man who helped get us to the moon, not with technology, but with a paintbrush.

“More than three decades after his death in 1986, Bonestell remains one of the most important and influential astronomical artists ever to put paint to canvas.” – Don Vaughan, Filmfax Magazine, Jan. – Mar. Issue 2019

Chesley Bonestell: A Brush with the Future features rare interviews with Bonestell himself, along with Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451), Douglas Trumbull (2001: A Space Odyssey) and veterans Ben Burtt, Craig Barron and Richard Edlund. Additional perspectives come from space artists David Aguilar, Don Davis, astronomer Dr. Lucianne Walkowicz and numerous others who knew him or were influenced by his art. This multi-award-winning film compellingly combines art, science fiction and science fact to engagingly tell the story of Bonestell’s life and his uncanny predictive ability to create visions of distant worlds that still resonate deeply within us.

“If you’ve never heard of Bonestell, you’ll come away from the film wondering why not. And if, like me, you knew something of Bonestell’s life and work, you’ll be astonished to discover how much more you didn’t know…informative, entertaining, and inspiring.” – “Meet Chesley Bonestell, The Most Important Space Artist You’ve Probably Never Heard Of”- Richard Tresch Fienberg, Astronomy Magazine, March 15, 2019.