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Saturday, April 27 • 11:00am - 11:50am
The History of Astronomical Art: From the Renaissance to the Space Age

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We humans have always been explorers. Our species was born from our deep-rooted need to
learn more about the world around us ? from the need to find that next source of food to, even if
just occasionally, discover out of pure curiosity what is over that hill or to figure out why that
stick over there looks a bit weird. We are also artists, almost innately compelled to express our
experiences and feelings and inner imaginings, be it through the sung word or the pigmented
picture. Art and exploration have been long and intimate partners, each inspiring the other
through history as we expanded the frontiers of new lands and pressed the boundaries of
human activity with novel technologies.

Contemporary visions of aeronautical advances and space exploration portrayed in sweeping
murals by Robert McCall stir the human spirit just as much as scenes of majestic beauty
captured in paintings of the 19th century American frontier by artists like Thomas Cole, Albert
Bierstadt, and Frederick Edwin Church. From its beginnings before the era of telescopic
astronomy to its inspirational and influential role during the dawn of the space age, space art
allows us to see the unseeable and to go to places we cannot yet go or to places (or times) we
could never go. It may be centuries before our technology allows some lucky and courageous
humans to stand rapt admiring the epic landscape of an Earth-like moon around a gas giant
planet orbiting a distant star light-years away, but astronomical artists can take us there today.

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Dan Durda

Dr. Dan Durda

Scientist, Space Artist, Southwest Research Institute
Daniel D. Durda of Southwest Research Institute (Boulder) He is scientist and a renowned space artist, the 2015 recipient of the AAS/DPS Carl Sagan Medal for excellence in public communication in planetary science. Dan is a Fellow and former member of the Board of Directors of the... Read More →


Saturday April 27, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
SF Panel 1