Thursday, January 25, 2007

Helmut Wimmer, who's artwork inspired thousands at the Hayden Planetarium in NYC before the digital days, has crossed over into SummerIsle:

“...Without his art,” said Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium and an astrophysicist with the museum, “your planetarium experience would be limited to pointing out the stars of the night sky. His artwork allowed generations of visitors to transport themselves from Earth to the surface of a star, the lunar landscape, the vicinity of a black hole.” Dr. Tyson called Mr. Wimmer, who never went to college, “a scientifically literate artist.”

Helmut Wimmer led a remarkable life. He was born in Munich in 1925, apprenticing as a sculptor at 14. He was drafted into the German army, captured by Czech partisans, then turned over to the Russians. He spent 4 year in a labor camp. Returning to Munich, he married his childhood sweetheart. In 1954, they moved to the US.

...In 1974, Mr. Wimmer painted an early image of a black hole. It was used as a cover for The New York Times Magazine and in numerous scientific publications. The work was based on calculations of what a black hole would do to its environment, showing the curvature of space and material being pulled in from a nearby giant red star...

That's the pic, above. Lot's of things made impressions of the minds of visitors to the Hayden Planetarium in the 70's and 80's, especially if your consciousness was artificialy expanded. Besides the planetarium projector, which looked like an HG Wells Martian war machine, you had Laserium, and Mr. Wimmers wonderful artwork.

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