Chesly Bonestell, Mr. Smith Goes to Venus, March, 1950

Mr. Smith Goes to Venus

I was checking through old magazines at an antique store in Cold Springs, NY, looking for old SF magazines, when a cover caught my eye. It read Mr. Smith Goes to Venus. The date was March, 1950. It was Coronet Magazine, which was a cheaper simpler version of the Saturday Evening Post or Readers Digest. Later, I think, Coronet would become a sleazy sex magazine.

My curiousity piqued, I opened up and found some marvelous pictures by the famous space artist Chesly Bonestell. Bonestell did art for dozens of Hollywood movies, including Destination Moon, When Worlds Collide, and Conquest of Space. After 15 mintues of Googling, though, I couldn’t find any reference to the Coronet spread.

I am wondering if the text is by Bonestell in this article. It describes a family’s trip to Venus. Bonestell did the art work for the movie, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, hence the title of the piece.

Click on a picture to see the (very) large version.


  • What! No comments?? Well, I have one. Here’s a huge thanks for not only having scanned and posted these incredible pages, but having the kindness to scan & post them in more than lo-to-medium resolution. Maybe you had the foresight to know that anyone interested in this stuff would want to experience it in detail. My hearty appreciatiation goes out to you. Wonderful set.

  • Infinite thanks for scanning and posting this set!

  • My thanks, too, for scanning and posting this. Love it.

  • I really like this type of art work, the old style of rockect design are very interesting. It inspires me to do my own scifi art combining modern technolgy with a certain “retro” look.

  • Thank you for making this incredible artwork and story available, it’s just too bad this kind of trip will never be made but through imagination it can be done and I wish I could join the Smith’s on their next trip.

    In a fit of nostalgia I was looking for Bonestell art from Conquest of Space, etc. & your posting came up. I didn’t even know Coronet published such a thing, a bit, but only a bit before my time.
    I miss the solar system and “The Comming Age of Space Travel” as it was when i was a boy.

  • What a treat! THANK YOU so much for scanning and posting these pages. A bygone era, when anything was possible.

  • Actually that’s ‘Chesley’ 😉 I wish I had that book — I have most of his, and indeed he was my inspiration when I started doing space art in the 1950s. . .

  • These images are really spledid. I used to read Andre Norton when I was young(with some 170 books to her credit) and often bought more than one copy of her novels, just because the artwork differed significantly.

    I think it’s terrific that you’ve managed to get these images posted on the internet. The artists of SCiFi works, as much as the writers, have made significant contributions to SciFi development. Sometimes the artist’s vision is more perceptive than that of the writer’s. I glad you honor them with this kind of recognition.

    J. Jay Jones


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I started reading Science Fiction in the 1950s. I started Writing SF in the 1960s. Then, I had a life. Now I am retired, raising chickens and keeping bees. I am still an avid reader and I have sold about 70 stories in the last 20 years.
I have been collecting information about writing Science Fiction for many years now. Social media has replaced the Blog and large dedicated websites, so the pages here are mostly static. I update them from time to time.


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