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John Steuart Curry
(Kansas, 1897 - 1946, Wisconsin)

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The least-known of America's Regionalist Triumvirate, which included Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood, John Steuart Curry painted and illustrated scenes of farm life, tornadoes, circuses, and baptisms in his native rural Kansas. He captured classic images of the American scene, especially fertile landscapes of the Midwest, small towns and farms. His art education came from the Kansas City Art Institute and the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1936, Curry accepted a teaching position with the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

In 1937 Curry began the mural he is best known for, The Tragic Prelude, at the Kansas State Capitol in Topeka. The idyllic contemporary image of abolitionist John Brown, dust storms, and cornfields stripped by grasshoppers, raised such a public furor in 1939 that they were never completed.

Leaving his home state in 1941, dejected and heart-broken, Curry returned to Wisconsin and his teaching. Five years later John Steuart Curry died of a heart attack at his home in Madison, Wisconsin; all the while, Curry's widow maintains that the 48 year-old artist's demise was contributed to by the abuse he suffered while painting the Capitol murals.


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Late 19th and early 20th century American art with an emphasis on the 1930s since 1977
international fine print dealers association