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John Steuart Curry

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 7 months ago

 John Steuart Curry


Biography and Works



John Steuart Curry was born in 1897 in the great state of Kansas. He grew up on a farm and was an illustrator for a magazine that was locally ran (Stokstad 1101). He illustrated for the magazine from 1919 to 1926. At the end of 1926 he spent the year in Europe studying the fine arts and he then moved to New York upon his return to the United States. New York was also where he met his idol and mentor Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1101). When Curry began painting he wanted to find the people within his own Midwestern culture. As with Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton, he too followed theRegionalist movement that swept across America in the 1930s. His most famous works of these Midwestern paintings was “Baptism in Kansas” and also his work that was entitled “Killing a Rattlesnake.” (Larkin 418) These paintings depicted the everyday life of a Midwesterner during the depression. When looking at these paintings one can really get a taste of what life was like during these hard and enduring times in American history.
Also during the 1930s Curry was commissioned by the State of Kansas to paint many Murals in and for their state. The most notable are located in Topeka, Kansas (419). He had many other works during the 1930s that were American Scene painting. One entitled “The Café” looks similar to the art that was coming out of France during the thirties. It has a typical café scene in America and it shows his audience how the people acted socially at the time. There are many others scene paintings that are depicted in the slide show below. Curry’s self-portrait is also shown in the slides below along with several of the landscape paintings that he created. He died in 1946 and he was a definite contributor to the Regionalist movement in America. Grant Woodand Thomas Hart Benton are two other artists that painted similar genre paintings that too were like those of John S. Curry.  These three men together were a great trio of American Regionalist painters that left the reminder of our country's great and rich history.  Without these three men it would be hard to understand just what life was like.  These artists captured the true spirit of Americans. 
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Other Links
Works Cited

Larkin, Oliver W. Art and Life in America. New York: Rhinehart V. Company Inc, 1949.


Stokstad, Marilyn. Art History. Revised ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1999.







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