Larger Type
Smaller Type

Search Collections

John Steuart Curry Portrait

John Steuart Curry Portrait

John Steuart Curry

Also Known as: John Curry

Born:
Dunavant, Kansas 1897

Died:
Madison, Wisconsin 1946

Active in:

  • Westport, Connecticut

Photo Caption:
John Steuart Curry, Self Portrait, 1928, charcoal, conte crayon and pencil on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum,Museum purchase 1985.78.

Photo Caption:
John Steuart Curry in his studio at work on State Fair, Westport, Connecticut, Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum J0001431

Biography

Like Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry was a major American scene painter of the 1930s. His subjects were taken from American history and his most famous mural, The Tragic Prelude (1938–40), is in Topeka at the Kansas State Capitol.

Joan Stahl American Artists in Photographic Portraits from the Peter A. Juley & Son Collection (Washington, D.C. and Mineola, New York: National Museum of American Art and Dover Publications, Inc., 1995)

Additional Biographies

John Steuart Curry was born on a farm in Dunavant, Kansas, in 1897. He studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design in 1916, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1916 to 1918, and Geneva College from 1918 to 1919. His first solo exhibition was at the Whitney Studio Club in New York City in 1930. Along with Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton, he was a major American Scene painter of the 1930s, taking his subjects from American history. Curry's most famous mural, The Tragic Prelude (1938–40), is in Topeka at the Kansas State Capitol. The artist died in 1946 while serving as artist in residence at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, a position he had held for ten years.

National Museum of American Art (CD-ROM) (New York and Washington D.C.: MacMillan Digital in cooperation with the National Museum of American Art, 1996)