So today we will once again travel into the world of obscure East-Block and hard-to-find Western pulp 1950s illustrations to see "What Future Used To Be"... in regards to space exploration (long live our memory of the Space Shuttle, alas) and the great starry yonder where no one has gone before.
Flash Gordon's spaceship is still the most fascinating / colorful -
Great space-themed paintings by the Russian futurist artist Andrei Sokolov (who also collaborated with the Soviet cosmonaut-painter Alexey Leonov). This rare collection came from a set of postcards "The Space Fantasy" (Kosmitcheskaya phantasya, 1963):
(art by Andrei Sokolov, Russia 1970s-1980s)
Andrei Sokolov's colorful alien landscapes were regular feature inside the Soviet youth-oriented magazines like "Tekhnika Molodezhi" and "Yuny Tekhnik" in the 1970s. Another great Russian space artist was Nikolai Kolchitsky - his work mostly pre-dated space era, being published in the 1950s popular science books:
(art by Nikolai Kolchitsky, Russia 1940s-1950s)
See the whole collection of Nikolai Kolchitsky art here.
Other East-Block Cold War Era Illustrations
(art by Zdenek Burian)
Another rare and interesting artist from the 1930s and 1940s was Zdenek Burian - a Czech illustrator since the late 1920s (more info):
(art by Zdenek Burian)
Gennady Golobkov's "Squirrel from Space" (left) and "In the Park; 75th Parallel":
(art by Gennady Golobkov)
Yuly Schwetz evocative artwork, from 1972 Soviet magazine:
"The Kosmokrator" spaceship from the first novel by Stanislaw Lem "The Astronauts" (1951) - illustration by the Czech artist Teodor Rotrekl:
(art by Teodor Rotrekl)
The whole Communist industry is working for the benefit of space exploration on this postcard, issued in 1958:
So, here we have a slice of the space-bound retro future from the 1940s and 1950s - till next time in our favorite series: To The Stars!
(illustration to T. D. Hamm's "Native Son", Imagination, July 1953)
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