Wednesday, January 3, 2007

A Beaux-Arts muralist walks into a bar...

Incidentally, I was seated in the front row of the mezzanine at the Cort Theatre, which was every bit as good as the orchestra in terms of viewing the action onstage, and better when it came to appreciating the mural above the stage, which depicts a Restoration-era scene (or so I guessed) and is signed "A. Brounet." Fifteen years ago, I probably wouldn't have bothered to make a note of the name. But nowadays, all you need is mild intellectual curiosity and an internet connection to learn something new and useless!

I eventually learned that the "A" stands for "Arthur," and that Arthur Brounet was a 19th-Century French decorator whose murals adorn a handful of NYC buildings, including the St. James. That's about all I could find out - even Wikipedia has never heard of him. But I mention it because my initial Google search, for "A. Brounet," yielded a bevy of misspelled blond jokes. I thought you might appreciate the irony.

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