As a ten year old, Chesley Bonestell was drawn to the sight of Venus in the morning and evening skies — in fact, it was one of the factors that lead the young artist to pursue his interest in astronomy. "Much later in life he recalled being able to see the planet clearly in the mornings when he woke up: 'I could see everything because there were no skyscrapers ninety years ago. And then I'd see Venus again in the evening, as a brilliant white star. It interested me so much that I got books on astronomy out of the library and read and read and read'" (Miller & Durant, 13).
The present work was created for Bonestell's 1961 publication, The Solar System (see also lot 4). Bonestell published two children's books in 1961 in conjunction with the Columbia Record Club: The Solar System and Rocket to the Moon. Each book was accompanied by a set of thirty-two color transparencies depicting the planets and their moons, as well as a 45-rpm record with a recording of Walter Cronkite acting as a tour guide through the solar system.
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