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John Steuart Curry

Self-Portrait
1928
charcoal, conte crayon, and pencil
25 5/16 x 19 3/8 in
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase

The intense stare and close, looming view reveal Curry's confidence at a turning point in his career. In 1927 he had returned to the United States after studying drawing in Paris, and a year later his paintings had attained national acclaim. The bold lines and powerful swaths of shadow drawn with the broad side of the charcoal reveal Curry's increasing self-assurance.