Public Unveiling
Friday, April 20 | 5:30p

Eric Bransby Mural

April 20, 2012 | Smith Gallery (Glass Corridor)

While a student of muralist Thomas Hart Benton in the middle of the Great Depression, Eric Bransby painted his first mural as part of the WPA program in Kansas City. He then served his country in World War II and when he returned from duty, he enrolled in the Fine Arts Center School on the G.I. Bill, under the tutelage of Boardman Robinson, initially, and later Jean Charlot.

During the New Deal Era, The Fine Arts Center became a hotbed for muralists, including artists like George Biddle, Edgar Britton, Randall Davey, Ethel Magafan, Archie Musick, Robinson, Charlot, and Bransby.

So it was only fitting that the Fine Arts Center commissioned Bransby, now 94, to create his final mural that tells the story of the FAC with nods to the Broadmoor Art Academy, music, dance, theatre, arts education and recognizable figures like Boardman Robinson and Martha Graham, in commemoration of the FAC’s 75th Anniversary.

“The mural is incredible and will be a valued reminder of our first 75 years for decades to come,” said Sam Gappmayer, FAC CEO and President. 

In 1986, for the FAC’s 50th Anniversary, Bransby was tapped to completely repaint Boardman Robinson’s original 1936 frescoes on the FAC façade; over the years the Robinson frescos had faded.

“Bransby masterfully enhanced Robinson’s original forms with his own details on the original facade,” said Blake Milteer, FAC Museum Director. “With the 75th Anniversary mural, he will bring the mural painting tradition from the original building into the FAC’s stunning new glass corridor.”

In August of 2011, Mary Ann Bransby, Eric’s wife of nearly 70 years passed away. The couple long thought to be the last surviving students of Boardman Robinson shared the exhibition galleries at the Fine Arts Center for a major retrospective in 2001. Eric included his wife, Mary Ann, in the 75th mural, depicting her as a student of Robinson. This was a change he made after the time of her passing.

“This is a project that has already gone very deep in impacting the lives of a small number of people in profound ways,” said Gappmayer. “I anticipate that when I look back on my career that this will be one of the things of which I will be most proud.” 

  April 20 | 5:30p Mural Unveiling and Dedication | Free and open to the public
  April 20 | 6p Lecture: Piero della Francesca's Impact on New Deal Muralists | $7.50 Non-Members; $5 FAC Members

 The Eric Bransby 75th Anniversary mural is generously supported by:
 Margot Lane, James and Virginia Moffett, Mr. John Street and Ms. Mary Beazley, The William H. Donner Foundation and
 The Donner Fund of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, Mrs. C. Wesley Tyson, Jr., Bain Family Foundation, Leslie and
 Susan Kotval, Roger and Jane Berg, Dr. and Mrs. Stephen F. Bodman, Mr. and Mrs. Gary L. Bradley, Mr. and Mrs. John M.
 Budd, Bruce and Patty Cameron, J. Berry and Linda Craddock, Dr. and Mrs. Patrick Faricy, Dr. David and Paulette
 Greenberg, Ronald and Carolyn Henrikson, Phil and Meg Kendall, Summer and Tobias Kircher, John and Carol Kleiner,
 Katherine H. Loo and Jim Raughton, Bob and Judy Mollo, Mr. and Mrs. Charles J. Murphy, Mary and Ed Osborne, Dr. and
 Mrs. Dilworth Sellers, Wayne and Betz Smisek, Mr. and Mrs. A. Marvin Strait, Dr. and Mrs. James M. Strang, Jr., Jane and
 Bruce Warren, Mrs. Barbara Webb and The Webb Family Fund of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, Ms. Lana A. Wright,
 Dr. and Mrs. Charles J. Zinn, Mr. Roberto Agnolini, Barbara Sparks, Mr. and Mrs. James C. Young, Dr. Richard Celeste and
 Mrs. Jacqueline Lundquist, and Dr. and Mrs. Lawrence N. Gorab, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Woodford, Marzolf-Blessing, Thomas J.
 and Anne Lafitte Eller, Brooke Bower and Richard Nehring and Dr. and Mrs. Steven R. Myers.