Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Art Beeman

Arthur D. “Art” Beeman was born in Los Angeles County, on January 8, 1914, according to the California Birth Index, 1905-1995 at In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Beeman was the youngest of two children born to Fredrick and Louise. They lived in Florence, San Antonio Township, Los Angeles County, California at 1407 Woodside Avenue. His parents emigrated from Hannover, Germany in 1884, and his father was a factory contractor. 

The 1930 census found the family in the same city but at a different address, 1311 East 83 Street. His mother, a widow, was the head of the household. The fate of his father is not known. Information on Beeman’s education and art training has not been found. His sports cartoon was published in the San Diego Union (California), July 30, 1933.

San Diego Union 7/30/1933

The Beemans remained at the same address in the 1940 census. He was a newspaper cartoonist. It is not known if he served during World War II. Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 said he produced material for comic books in the early 1940s, and assisted on Seein’ Stars from 1940 to 1951. His comic book credits are at the Grand Comics Database.

The New Salem Journal (North Dakota) published his strip, Those Were the Days; selected strips: March 2, 1955; May 4, 1955; July 13, 1955; and December 14, 1955.

Beeman found employment at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The Star-News (Pasadena, California), May 9, 1958, published his comments about the American space program.

Caltech Speaker Predicts ‘Man in Orbit in 2 or 3 Years’
“The satellites already shot aloft are fingers reaching for knowledge of the unknown,” Arthur D. Beeman, art director for Caltech’s Jet Propulsion technical publications and former aircraft designer, emphasized yesterday before Council of Woman’s Club….

…Titling his talk “Spotlighting the Future in Transportation,” Mr. Beeman spoke of the new age of outer space flight which lies ahead. He predicted, “Within 2 or 3 years a man will be put in orbit and be safely returned to the earth.” He also opined that a manned outer-space platform will be in operation within 5 years.

Declaring that the moon, our nearest neighbor, is going to be the first goal, he explained, “Why are we racing the Russians to get to the moon first? Man’s curiosity is such that he is perpetually driven to find new ways and things by which he can improve himself, and this, the last physical frontier, this expanse of eternal mystery, he can’t resist.”

“Man must strive unceasingly to be the master of his physical universe. This space program is dedicated to man’s eternal quest for means to improve himself.”

He contributed art to Mars Revisited (1959) by Donald L. Cyr, and Mariner Mission to Venus (1963). Beeman passed away April 14, 1999, in Altadena, California, according to the Social Security Death Index. His portrait of William Pickering was used on the cover of William H. Pickering: America’s Deep Space Pioneer (2008).

—Alex Jay

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