Bill Bradley developed two passions early in life -- art and flying. He studied animation at the New York Cartoonists and Illustrators School (now the School of Visual Arts), which led to his founding a business back home in Houston, Animated Pictures. Bill worked on some of the earliest animations for NASA's manned space program, providing material for films on Project Mercury. Animated Pictures ultimately merged with MSC's prime film subcontractor, AV Corporation, and he became head of the animation department, and continued to produce films for Gemini, Apollo, and the Space Shuttle Program. In the early 1970's he left AV corporation to open a custom framing business. Bradley's Art and Frame is in its 42nd year now and still thriving. He holds a commercial pilot certificate with instrument rating.
Victor Craft was born in Covington, KY in 1933, and studied at the University of Cincinnati where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial design in 1957. He and his wife Janet moved to Florida shortly afterward, where he worked for RCA Service Company, which operated the Missile Test Project from Patrick AFB. While his job revolved around technical art, he once remarked that he may have been a frustrated cartoonist at heart. Craft died in 2015.
Frank Kelly Freas
Kelly Freas was arguably the premier artist of science fiction
and fantasy. Born in Hornell, New York in 1922, he spent much of his childhood in Canada. Folowing a stint in the Army during World War II, he attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, graduating in 1951. His career, spanning fifty-plus years, earned
him ten Hugo awards, the highest recognition in the field.
His art graced the covers of innumerable science fiction and
fantasy magazines, twice winning readers' poll awards for
best cover of the year for Analog Magazine. In 2000
Freas was elected a Fellow of the International Association
of Astronomical Artists. He died in 2005.
Robert T. McCall
McCall is widely regarded as the preeminent artist of space.
Science writer Isaac Asimov called him "the nearest thing
to an artist-in-residence from outer space." McCall's
giant mural in the National Air & Space Museum has become
a cultural icon. If there was any doubt of his influence,
his immortaility was ensured when Stanley Kubrick commissioned
McCall to produce a set of promotional paintings for the movie
2001: A Space Odyssey. In addition to the Apollo
17, and Mission Control patches, McCall has designed
a number of Shuttle mission patches, including STS-1, STS-3,
STS-5, STS-41B, and STS-71. McCall died in 2010.
Jean Pinataro began work at North American Aviation in 1949, creating technical art for flight handbooks which provided detailed information and procedures for test pilots who flew NAA aircraft, including the X-15 and XB-70. In 1967 Pinataro transferred to the Space Division in Downey, where she created artwork for the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs. In more recent years, Pinataro's art has been influenced by her social conscience, which resulted in works such as her commentary on the Charles Keating S&L scandal.
Pucci, Marchese of Barsento, was born in 1914 into an illustrious
Florentine family. He was educated for a diplomatic career,
and earned a Ph.D. in social science. A brilliant athelete,
he was a member of the 1934 Italian Olympic ski team. He served
as a career pilot (not an aeronautical engineer) in the Italian
Air Force for 14 years, earning multiple decorations. While skiing in the winter of
1947, he met a fashion photographer who, when she learned
that he had designed his own ski outfit, asked him to design
some women's skiwear. Thus began a long career as a fashion
designer. In the 1970's Pucci was elected to the Italian Parliament.
Later he began labeling and selling the wine produced on his
estate in Chianti, owned by the Pucci family since the 13th
century. He died in 1992.
Allen Stevens was born in Colorado Springs in 1915, and grew up in California. He studied at Art Center (now Art Center College of Design) in Los Angeles. While serving in the Navy during World War II, Stevens was aboard the escort carrier USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) when she captured the German submarine U-505. Stevens worked first at Lockheed, and then at North American Aviation (later North American Rockwell) as a graphic artist. A modest man, he told a reporter who was writing a story about his patch work, "Don't flower it up too much. It's part of my job, that's all." Yet Steven's patch designs were adopted by 4 crews, more than any other artist of that period. He retired in 1978, and died in 1994 in Orange, California.
Walter A. Weber
in Chicago in 1906, Walter Weber grew up as one of eleven
children of poor immigrant parents. His artistic talents flowered
early, and he began taking classes at the Chicago Art Institute
at the age of nine. His earliest job, with the Natural History
department of the Field Museum, gave him the opportunity to
embark on extensive research travel. In 1936 Weber became
the chief scientific illustrator for the National Park Service.
In 1949 he was appointed staff artist and naturalist for the
National Geographic Society, a position which allowed him
to travel much of the world. In addition to illustrating many
articles and books, Weber was the first artist to design two
federal duck stamps. He retired in 1971, and died in 1979.
Lumen M. Winter
in 1908, Lumen Winter spent his childhood in western Kansas.
After attending the Cleveland School of Art and New York's
National Academy of Design, Winter participated in the Federal Arts Project set up by the Works Progress Administration, painting murals in public schools and post offices. During World War II he served a stint as an Air Force
artist. Following this, he settled in
Santa Fe. Over the next 40 years, Winter became one
of the country's most reknowned muralists. His style, according
to The Paris Moderne, "is not abstract nor is
it realistic, but he has created synthesis which is all his
own." Winter died in 1982.
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