Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Edward Sorel's Larger-Than-Life Peter Arno Mural

Edward Sorel's mural completed in 2009 for New York's Monkey Bar features luminaries of the 1920's and 1930's. In one of the sections, Peter Arno is shown at the lower left looking angular in pinstripes. He is holding three brushes—as he appears in several photos—and is working on a picture of a woman hastily clutching a towel. Artists have to make many decisions in producing any work, and here Mr. Sorel has chosen a very specific image for Arno's drawing board. In fact, the image of the woman appears in photos of Arno prominently published in Sizzling Platter (1949) and in The New Peter Arno Pocket Book (1955). In these photos, the drawing is a very large wall drawing on which Arno is working standing upon a ladder. In short, there is a clever inside joke here. Sorel's mural depiction of Peter Arno shows Arno working out his own mural!

A section of Edward Sorel's Monkey Bar mural completed in 2009 featuring Jazz Age caricatures of Langston Hughes, Kate Smith, Frank Sinatra, a Ziegfeld Girl, Peter Arno, "Fats" Waller, Ella Fitzgerald, and Clifford Odets.

The New Peter Arno Pocket Book (1955)

Another press photograph from this shoot was misdated 1951 at the time of Arno's death in 1968.
Press photograph posted by owner Rarebit Fiend on the Comic Art Fans site after being purchased from the Historic Images outlet.
Image updated November 20, 2016

The image published in the 1949 book Sizzling Platter demonstrates why the above photograph must be from at least two years before 1951.
From Peter Arno's Sizzling Platter (1949)

Note:  Consult the blog archives for more on Edward Sorel and Peter Arno.

Edward Sorel will join Michael Maslin on April 18 at Columbia University's Butler Library in conversation about Peter Arno:



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