Space Art Collection

Art Collection

The Twenty-one Eleven Foundation for Exploration maintains a collection of original paintings depicting pivotal moments in the history of Solar System expeditionary achievement.

commissioned by the Foundation through specific targeted donations or they are donated by Foundation benefactors and friends. Below is a selection of pictures and paintings currently held by the Foundation.

All of these images are copyright to the artists or the Twenty-one Eleven Foundation. Reproduction of these images is not allowed without permission. They are low resolution versions of the originals.


FAREWELL! DEPARTURE FOR THE POLE!' by David A. Hardy, 2001. 
[60 x 45 cm]. [Acrylic on canvas]. Commissioned 2000. 
Delivered and donated to the Foundation, January 2001.

Farewell! Departure for the Pole! was commissioned by the Foundation in 2000 and it was donated in January 2001. The painting depicts an expedition leaving for a transpolar assault on the Martian north geographical pole. The expedition is leaving just before sunrise to get a day's traverse. Members of the temporary polar base camp at the edge of the polar cap wave goodbye to the expedition. In view are two of the skidoos and their cargos (there may be more to the right of the picture). Our imaginations are left to contemplate the scene in front of the expedition team - the vast expanse of the polar plateau.

This painting is an important work as it was the first painting to be rendered by an artist of an overland expeditionary attempt on the Martian poles.


'NORTH POLAR BASE' by Michael Carroll, 1984. [15 x 67 cm]. [Acrylic on board] 
Purchased and donated to the Foundation

Painting depicting a Martian North Polar Base. The base lies at the edge of the polar cap and would be the launching point for typical martian polar expeditions. In this painting explorers are depicted taking ice samples for research (with dirigible on the right) and checking communications (left), possibly for an imminent polar assault. This was the first rendition of a martian polar base.


L'AVENTURE, C'EST L'AVENTURE!' by Marcel Ildis, 2000. [20 x 80 cm]. [Acrylic on board]
Purchased and donated to the Foundation

Painting by Paris-based Marcel Ildis depicting the first Mars landing and expedition. The explorers are on foot for a reconnaissance of their immediate surroundings. Rovers will be used later, when greater distances are to be covered. This scene takes place shortly after the Mars Lander vehicle (left), the explorers' base, has touched down on Mars within close range of the Mars Power- ISPP-Ascent vehicle (right) that will launch them back on their journey to Earth. The landscape is both inviting and mysteriously bleak. The boulders have an otherworldly appearance. The terrain looks degraded and ancient. The spacesuits are already coated with red dust... Is this strictly a mineral world or is there life? The viewer sees only what the explorers have explored so far, not what lies ahead...


POLAR CLIMB' by Michael Carroll, 2000 [27 x 35 cm]. [Acrylic on board] 
Purchased and donated to the Foundation

Painting depicting an explorer at the edge of the Martian North Polar Cap. The Sun rises in the early polar spring. Prior to departure on a polar expedition the team must practice their climbing skills, put their EVA suits through polar tests and improve their fitness. Doubtless this explorer will accomplish some incidental geology during the climb.


'POLAR FLAG' by Charles Cockell, 1999 [12 x 17 cm]. [Pastel on paper] 

Picture depicting flag at the Martian Geographical North Pole after an expedition's departure from the Pole. The streaks of sledge marks and the flag are all that remain of a polar ambition successfully accomplished.


'HARD SCIENCE' by Pat Rawlings, 1993 [50 x 100 cm]. [Acrylic/airbrush on Board] 
Purchased and donated to the Foundation

An explorer abseils from the eastern cliffs of Olympus Mons, the highest mountain in the Solar System, two and a half times the height of Mount Everest. On the way geological samples are collected to help understand the geologic nature of this vast extinct shield volcano. The descent takes time as the explorer must master the problems of abseiling in full EVA suit.

Ever since this painting first appeared it has been controversial within the space exploration community because it bridges the fine line between adventure and risk, a paradox for those who seek to pioneer the great exploratory frontiers of the Solar System. It fuels enthusiasm for its sense of adventure or criticism for its brazen disregard for astronaut safety, depending on who it is shown to. The painting was part of two long-term exhibits in the Houston Museum of Natural Science. It was the first rendition of a mountaineering expedition to Olympus.



THE POLE WITHIN REACH' by Charles Cockell, 2001 [12 x 18 cm]. [Pastel on paper] 

Picture depicting an expedition emerging from a spiral trough at the Martian north polar cap in the final phase of an assault on the geographic north pole.


INTO MARTIAN DARKNESS' by Charles Cockell, 2001 [12 x 18 cm]. [Pastel on paper] 

Picture depicting the first Martian caving expedition. The team descend into a Martian lava tube. They must feel a sense of excitement and trepidation. What will they find? We find the team inside the cave lit by the shafts of light that penetrate through the surface opening.