Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Patches & Pins
  Apollo mission emblems by artist Al Stevens

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Apollo mission emblems by artist Al Stevens
heng44
Member

Posts: 2816
From: Netherlands
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 04-11-2008 10:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sometimes you have to be lucky as a spaceflight historian. My friend Noah Bradley recently bought via eBay a large number of sketches, paintings and documents which had belonged to Allen A. Stevens. The name Stevens will probably not mean anything to space enthusiasts, but his work is widely known.

During the 1960s and 1970s Stevens was a graphic designer for the Space Division of Rockwell International in California. The box that Noah bought contained the artistic legacy of Al Stevens. His belongings included various original artworks that were designs for the emblems of half a dozen Apollo mission. More importantly, the papers that were included proved beyond any doubt that Stevens was the man who made the final designs for the mission patches for Apollo 1, Apollo 7, Apollo 9 and Apollo 10. The maker of these emblems had not previously been identified.

Details about Stevens and his work will be published in an article I wrote for the June issue of "Spaceflight." There will be many illustrations such as the one below. This is an early design for the Apollo 7 emblem, featuring the phoenix rising out of the ashes of the Apollo 1 fire.

Bill Hunt
Member

Posts: 378
From: Irvine, CA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 04-11-2008 11:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bill Hunt   Click Here to Email Bill Hunt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, that's fascinating, Ed. I'll looking forward to reading the piece! You'll have to let us know when it's on magazine racks.

KSCartist
Member

Posts: 2655
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 04-11-2008 12:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looking forward to the article. This Steven's piece of the "Phoenix rising from the ashes" is a great example of his incredible talent.

astroborg
Member

Posts: 179
From: Woodbridge, VA, USA
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 04-11-2008 04:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for astroborg   Click Here to Email astroborg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wonder if Mr. Stevens is the artist responsible for the patch and art appearing at the bottom of the Apollo 8 web page at Gene Dorr's Space Mission Patches website.

The graphic elements look remarkably similar.

heng44
Member

Posts: 2816
From: Netherlands
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 04-12-2008 01:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rich, he is! That will also be in my article...

andrewcli
Member

Posts: 328
From: La Jolla, CA, USA
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 04-12-2008 02:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for andrewcli   Click Here to Email andrewcli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I also noticed on the Aurora Galleries that Mr. Stevens also had his hand on the Apollo 11 patch, lot 683, October, 2006.

heng44
Member

Posts: 2816
From: Netherlands
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 04-12-2008 05:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Stevens made the patches for Apollo 1, 7, 9 and 10. He made designs for Apollo 8, 11, 12 and 17 as well as Skylab 3 (and possibly more).

heng44
Member

Posts: 2816
From: Netherlands
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 05-10-2008 03:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is another Al Stevens emblem design as a teaser for the article, which will be published in the June issue of SPACEFLIGHT to come out this week.

KSCartist
Member

Posts: 2655
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 05-10-2008 07:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Simply beautiful! I'd like to hear Al Bean's reaction to this - artist to artist.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 31503
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-20-2008 07:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
The man behind the Moon mission patches

Sometimes you have to be lucky as a space flight historian. A friend, Noah Bradley, purchased on eBay recently a collection of sketches, paintings and documents that had belonged to one 'Allen A. Stevens'. That name will probably not immediately mean much to space enthusiasts, but his artwork is widely recognized.

Born on June 16, 1915 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Al Stevens worked during the 1960s and 70s as a graphic designer for the Space Division of Rockwell International in California. He retired in 1978 and, after suffering from several strokes over a period of 13 years, he died on May 21, 1994 in Orange, California.

The box that Noah bought contained Stevens' artistic legacy. His belongings included various original designs for the emblems from half a dozen Apollo missions...

John Charles
Member

Posts: 316
From: Houston, Texas, USA
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 05-21-2008 08:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for John Charles     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I enjoyed reading this article on Al Stevens' designs for early Apollo patches. In reference to the Apollo 7 patch, this weekend I had the opportunity to show Walt Cunningham the concept Ed described in the first article in this thread. He recognized it from the Internet — possibly even this thread — but didn't seem to recall it from 1968. In addition, he said he designed the Apollo 7 patch.

I offer this as additional background to Ed's interesting article on Stevens, to illustrate how events four decades ago can have multiple interpretations.

heng44
Member

Posts: 2816
From: Netherlands
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 05-22-2008 12:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
John, interesting observation by Walt Cunningham. In my opinion he 'designed' the Apollo 7 emblem in the same sense that Gene Cernan designed the Apollo 17 emblem: he gave directions to the artist. But still I think Al Stevens should be (co-)credited for the final product.

heng44
Member

Posts: 2816
From: Netherlands
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 05-22-2008 09:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One more point concerning Walt Cunningham's remarks. Some time ago he signed a few of the original artworks for Noah.

On one of the phoenix designs he wrote: "The phoenix is what we really wanted." On another: "Interesting - would have worked".

One of the final versions prompted this comment: "This one expressed my concept. Needs one small change". This suggests to me that the crew (Cunningham) suggested themes, which Stevens then turned into designs for approval or rejection.

KSCartist
Member

Posts: 2655
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 05-22-2008 09:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My opinion based on all of the posts tell me that Cunningham was probably the "patch project manager" for the crew. As with today's shuttle crews it's usually a first time flyer who gathers the crew input and deals with the artist.

Cunningham probably feels that he did design the patch because of his role — and he deserves to feel that way. But the evidence clearly points to Al Stevens who created the actual art that became the patch. Thanks to Ed and Noah and Larry now we know too.

heng44
Member

Posts: 2816
From: Netherlands
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 05-30-2008 10:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I received an interesting reaction to the article, although it has nothing to do with Al Stevens.

Wayne Begnaud wrote me that he participated in the design of the ASTP crew patch. In August 2007 he attended SpaceFest in Mesa, Arizona, and spoke to several former Apollo moonwalkers and Skylab astronauts, as well as emblem artist Robert McCall.

Jack Lousma told him that the patch design for STS-3 was made by McCall. However, when launch day approached he had to fly out to McCall's studio in Arizona in his T-38 to pick-up the patch design before McCall had time to complete it. Lousma then took the incomplete artwork to his former Skylab commander Alan Bean, who completed patch details in the payload bay of the shuttle. Wayne later spoke to Bean, who confirmed his contribution to the STS-3 patch.

I thought this would be interesting to the patch lovers here...

E2M Lem Man
Member

Posts: 838
From: Los Angeles CA. USA
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 05-30-2008 06:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man   Click Here to Email E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ed, I just want you to know that retirees knew Stevens here for his creative art as well. We found one painting that the city of Downey was happy to get. It focuses on the S-II and dates about 1970. (A two engined nuclear powered S-II gives it away!)

Many "Bald Eagles" (retirees) have been discussing the article.

KSCartist
Member

Posts: 2655
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 09-01-2008 06:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Honoring Apollo artist Allen E. Stevens and in commemoration
of the 40th anniversary of the Apollo Program

Many people admired the beautiful artwork of the mission emblems during the Apollo Program. Until recently the general public was unaware of the identity of the artist who designed four of the early mission emblems. The crews of Apollo 1, Apollo 7, Apollo 9 and Apollo 10 wore the work of artist Allen S. Stevens.

But before the final designs were arrived at, Mr. Stevens painted many draft designs. Working with each crew Stevens evolved the draft designs into the final patch that the astronauts wore during their missions. While not selected as the official mission emblem Stevens also created designs for Apollo 8, Apollo 11, Apollo 12 and Apollo 17.

Tim Gagnon, portrait and graphic artist of Titusville, FL who has worked with two flight crews to design their patches, has organized this commemorative set of Apollo Mission Emblem drafts in tribute to the man whose work inspired many. This will be a set of seven 4" fully embroidered patches.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2647
From: Toms River, NJ
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 09-01-2008 09:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Which begs the question: Did he also design emblems for Apollos 13 through 16?

heng44
Member

Posts: 2816
From: Netherlands
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 09-02-2008 04:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If he did, I think we would have found some clues among his possessions.

andrewcli
Member

Posts: 328
From: La Jolla, CA, USA
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 12-01-2008 01:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for andrewcli   Click Here to Email andrewcli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I received the patches today and they are AWESOME! Haven't decided which is my favorite one, but I'm leaning towards the Apollo 11 patch.

space4u
Member

Posts: 310
From: Cleveland, OH USA
Registered: Aug 2006

posted 12-02-2008 08:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for space4u   Click Here to Email space4u     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My favorites are Apollo 11 and Apollo 17. I think I like them better than the originals!

heng44
Member

Posts: 2816
From: Netherlands
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 12-30-2008 10:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great detail and colors. This is a very nice final result of the article that made Stevens famous among us space buffs.

GoesTo11
Member

Posts: 1194
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 11-29-2010 04:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After being on the fence for a while, I ordered a set of Tim's Al Stevens patches, and I'm very glad I did. I got them today and they are GORGEOUS... the pictures here and in the "Spaceflight" article don't do them justice at all.

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2015 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement