Born : 1874 - Chateauneuf, France
Died : 1944 - New York, USA
Married : Gladyse McCloud ( b.1880 )
Children : Glayse ( b.1911 )
Photographer, Sculptor, Film Maker, Inventor
Click on the 'underlined names' to visit those web pages on this web site.
After staying in America for one month, at the stroke of midnight late at night on Saturday, 5 December 1931, Baba sailed on the North German Lloyd liner SS Bremen for France, accompanied by Chanji, Agha Ali and Meredith.
During the voyage, Baba remained in his cabin, preferring seclusion and avoiding going out lest he be recognized. Very often his fingers would spell out the names of his American lovers on the alphabet board, remembering them and perhaps inwardly sending them his love.
The Atlantic Ocean was quite rough during the first few days of the crossing and most of the passengers stayed inside as waves crashed across the decks. Since Baba and the mandali's cabins were situated in the center of the ship, the rolling effects were minimal. The five-day voyage was a period of relaxation and rest for him after his strenuous work in America. Baba liked his accommodations and the food pleased him.
On the last day of the trip, 10 December 1931, a few newspaper reporters, photographers and an artist found out about Meher Baba's presence and they requested to be permitted to take his picture. Baba granted their request and as the ship's band played in the background, several photographs were taken, as well as one short reel of film — but all of these photographs and the film have been lost.
The artist present at the photographing, Emile Brunel, 57, later came to Baba's cabin with a friend, an Armenian carpet dealer of Los Angeles named H. P. Philibosian. Brunel, a prominent New York City portrait artist and celebrity photographer, requested to do a sketch of Baba in his white robe, and surprisingly, Baba permitted it. While posing, Baba spoke with him about spiritual and religious subjects.
While drawing Baba in his sketchbook, Brunel remarked to Chanji, "You know, he looks like Christ. He has nothing 'human' in him. There is something more — something supernatural. It is all. His beautiful features are an artist's dream."
Brunel invited Baba to visit his studio on Fifth Avenue and wished to see him again in Paris, but Baba did not wish to meet any outsiders while in Paris and gently refused.
Webmaster : The photos that Emile Brunel took of Meher Baba and the sketch have never been seen. Their whereabouts are unknown.
Disembarking at the port of Cherbourg on Friday, 11 December 1931, Baba arrived in Paris that evening and stayed at the Hotel Powers at 52 rue François. Margaret Starr, Margaret Craske, Delia, Kim and twelve-year-old John Cousins had arrived in Paris the previous day and joined Baba. The next day, Kitty and her niece Zilla arrived in the afternoon. At night, they went to the Aubert Palace and saw Charlie Chaplin's City Lights and another night a Laurel & Hardy film.
52 rue François 1er, 75008 , Paris, France
A block from the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, this posh hotel is a 6-minute walk from George V metro station and 1.2 km from the Arc de Triomphe
Baba stayed here on the 11th December, 1931 and again on the 7th May,1932 on the 5th Floor.
24 Boulevard des Italiens, Paris, France
Some of the advertisements for Brunel's studio and schools
Examples of Emile Brunel's photographic work
Emile Brunel is also credited in Producing & Directing a silent film in 1916 called
"The Hand of God".
No other details of this film is known.
Emile Brunel's Studios & Photographic Schools
516 5th Avenue at the N.W. corner of 43rd Street
1269 BROADWAY, NEW YORK
141-145 WEST & 36TH STREETS, NEW YORK
Emile Brunel was a noted artist, painter, filmmaker and photographer. Brunel worked as a photojournalist for the New York Times Magazine and earned a certain degree of fame as a portrait photographer. In 1910 he founded the New York Institute of Photography (NYIP), which continues to train photographers today. Brunel would also develop a one-hour film development process, a process unique and ahead of its time.
BRUNEL FAMILY HOME - BRONX
BRUNEL SCULPTURE PARK, BOICEVILLE, NEW YORK STATE
In 1918 Brunel began operating a successful Catskills resort called Chalet Indien in Boiceville. In 1918 Brunel also began work as a sculptor, creating a series of works between 1918 and 1944 that can still be seen
The Emile Brunel Studio and Sculpture Garden, also known as Emile Brunel Park, is situated in Boiceville on 1.2 acres of what was Brunel’s Chalet Indien resort property. After Brunel’s death in 1944, and with the construction of Route 28 through the hotel property in 1947, the hotel closed and the sculptures were moved to their current location and much of the remaining property sold. Brunel’s wife and later his daughter would operate a trading post and museum on the property until the 1980s.
Brunel Park contains his studio, three large scale sculptures, two totem poles and several small scale sculptures. The Emile Brunel Studio and Sculpture Garden is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as “an unusual and unique regional collection of folk art dating from the early twentieth century” and “is a rare surviving example of roadside art and architecture in the upper Hudson Valley.” (1)
The Emile Brunel studio building (seen here) was constructed in 1929 using the “craftsman” architectural style yet “strongly influenced by French country design.” “The most significant aspect of the house are the works of art carved by Brunel into the concrete stucco exterior finish. A relief carving spans the south elevation of the studio. Located between the exposed basement level and first floor the frieze measures about three feet in height. It depicts a Native American village scene. The scene includes hunters returning from a successful hunt, a tribal Shaman, Indian scouts in canoes, a Squaw with her two children, and two scouts keeping a vigilant lookout. Also in the piece is the image of Brunel.” (2)