Donald Davis

Donald Davis: My first memory of a news event was the orbiting of Sputnik 1 in October 1957. I am a space artist and animator, as well as a photographer and writer. The beginning of my professional Space Art career was my employment, as a high school student in late 1968, as a scientific illustrator for the U.S. Geological Survey branch of Astrogeologic Studies in Menlo Park, California. My supervisor at the U.S.G.S. was Don Wilhelms, among the greatest experts on the Moon. Through him and other planetary geologists I learned of the processes shaping landscapes of Earth, the Moon and Mars. Among my artistic influences were the work of Chesley Bonestell, Charles R. Knight and the other great Dinosaur painters, and growing awareness to the beauty of nature which began with the book 'The nature of Light and Color in the Open Air' by Marcel Minnaert. In the late 60's I met Bonestell, bringing samples of my art, which began a series of visits where I received artistic advice from the Grand Master of Space Art. I have painted numerous works illustrating planetary exploration and visualizations of space colonies for NASA. My painting and knowledge were called upon when Carl Sagan and Jon Lomberg assembled the team of artists for the major PBS series 'Cosmos'. For that show I prepared 'tabletop' models of the surfaces of the various planets and numerous painted globes. For such work I and several other artists were awarded an Emmy by the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences. Since then I made my living less from art and more in creating visual effects for later PBS shows, chiefly working in teams created by John Allison, fellow Cosmos veteran.'The shows we worked on were 'Planet Earth', 'Infinite Voyage', and Space Age'. I produced the visual effects for PBS shows produced by Timothy Ferris, 'Life Beyond Earth' and 'Seeing In The Dark'. I now produce animations of space subjects for modern planetariums which project high resolution video across their domes. I am a member and fellow of the International Association of Astronomical Artists. The asteroid 13330dondavis was named for me.

Broadcast 1293 (Special Edition)

Guest: Donald Davis. Topics: Space art, space colonization, space history, and space vision. Our guest, Donald Davis, noted space artist and animator, talked about his art, space history, future projects, and space vision ideas. You can learn more about Don, his art, work, and projects by visiting In our first segment, Don told us how he got started in the field of space art. The Life book, "The World We Live In' and his early work with the U.S.

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