October 25, 1916 September 23, 2020
It is with a great deal of sorrow that I share the news that Eric James Bransby has passed peacefully away on September 23, 2020. Eric was a nationally recognized artist who made his home in Colorado Springs. Eric was selected as a Living Treasure of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. He was a part of our community's rich history of contributions to America's art history.
Eric began his professional education at the Kansas City Art Institute, studying under the noted muralist Thomas Hart Benton. He was drafted into the US Army in 1942 at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, where he painted a series of mural panels for the Command College Library, which are now located at the Frontier Army Museum. He was discharged in 1945. He then attended the Broadmoor Art Academy, and received his BA degree from Colorado College. The Broadmoor Art Academy flourished in Colorado Springs from 1919 to 1945. The name was changed in 1935 to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center with the opening of the new building. He then went on to obtain his MFA from Yale University.
Eric was unique among artists in that he dedicated his career to mural painting. His work can be viewed locally in the Pioneer Museum; Loveland Museum; Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College; NORAD Headquarters; among other local locations. He also painted murals in Missouri; Kansas; Illinois; and Utah. Eric's work is also represented in museums and private collections across the country. His works led to numerous awards and recognitions including : Who's Who in American Art; the Lifetime Achievement Award,CC; Congressional Citation for Lifetime Achievement; the Veatch Award for Distinguished Creative Activity, University Missouri; Best of the Springs, City of CS. He was the recipient of two honorary doctorates, one from UCCS, and one from Park University. He was the subject of the recent Rocky Mountain PBS documentary "Art for the People", honoring his life and career.
As an artist and a teacher Eric influenced hundreds of artists and inspired many through his murals. He taught at the University of Missouri; Western Illinois University; Colorado College; Brigham Young University; University of Illinois; and Yale University. His love of teaching continued in his retirement with weekly studio sessions.
Eric was preceded in death by his loving wife Mary Ann in 2011. He is survived by his daughter Mrs. Fredericka Fiechter (Jacques) who was able to talk with him in his final moments, and grandchild Alexis Fiechter (Christine) and two great-grandchildren.
Eric was an extraordinary man in many ways. His studio class was enriched by great enthusiasm and how passionately he expressed the role of art in the culture of our community. Artists and art lovers have all lost a true friend.
Due to the current health crisis, a memorial service will not be held at this time. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Fine Arts Center in Eric's memory would be greatly appreciated by his family, so that art can continue to bloom.