1861 (Hartford, Kentucky)
1942 (New York City)
Often Known For
genre, figure, landscape, and portrait painting
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Impressionists Pre 1940
Paris Pre 1900
|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|An Impressionist figure, genre, and landscape painter, Charles Curran
is known as a prolific artist who created light-filled paintings, often
of young women. |
Curran was born in 1861, in Hartford,
Kentucky, but in 1881 moved to Sandusky, Ohio. After studying one
year at the Cincinnati School of Design, he began a distinguished
career when he moved to New York City in 1882 and enrolled in the
National Academy of Design. There he studied under Walter
Satterlee. At age 23, he had his first public exhibition at the
Academy and won numerous prizes from that time onward. Five years
later he received the Academy's Third Hallgarten Prize for A Breezy Day, which was considered the most "meritorious painting in oil".
his training at the National Academy, he became a student at the Art
Students' League. He then studied at the Academie Julian in Paris
from 1889 to 1891. The French artist Jules Bastien-Lepage was a
source of inspiration for Curran with his paintings of peasants as a
common subject matter. From 1887 to 1935, he exhibited regularly
at the Pennsylvania Academy.
In 1903, artist Frederick
Dellenbaugh invited Curran to Cragsmoor, an art center in the Hudson
River Valley near Ellenville, New York. In 1910, Curran moved
into a house there and established a studio. At this time, he turned to
the themes and Impressionist style that would occupy most of the
remaining 30 years of his life: young women in bright sunlight.
His female subjects are often elegantly dressed, posed, and feminine,
with uncomplicated and dreamy gazes. Curran later included
flowered backgrounds in his paintings, a theme to last the remainder of
his career. He occasionally painted portraits and landscapes, as
well as a series of views of the Imperial Temples of Peking.
was a leader of the Cragsmoor Art Colony, and often taught art and
painting. He was a member of the American Watercolor Society, the
National Arts Club, the Salmagundi Club, and the Society of American
Artists. His works can be seen in collections at the Columbus
Museum of Art in Ohio, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City,
the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Toledo Museum
of Art in Ohio.
He died in 1942.
Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art
|Biography from Pierce Galleries, Inc.:|
|Charles Curran was born in Hartford, Kentucky on February 13, 1861, the
son of Ulysses Thompson Curran and his wife Elizabeth Thompson.
He spent his childhood in Sandusky, Ohio. In 1883 he studied at
the Cincinnati School of Design with Thomas B. Noble; the Art Students
League, the National Academy of Design with Walter Satterlee; and with
Constant, Lefebvre and Doucet at the Academie Julian in Paris
He was a member of the National Academy of Design
(ANA, 1888 and NA 1904; Council member; Recording Secretary, 1911-1920;
Corresponding Sec., 1890-); the MacDowell Club; Allied Artists
Association; New York Water Color Club, American Water Color Society;
Society of Artists (1888); Lotos Club (Life member); Cragsmoor
Barnstormer’s Theatre; Fencer’s Club and the National Arts Club.
awards include prizes at the National Academy (1888, 1893,1895, 1919);
Paris Salon (1890); Columbian Exposition, Chicago (1893); Atlanta
Exposition (1895); Paris Exposition (1900); Pan-American Exposition,
Buffalo, NY (1901, also the Assistant Director of the Expo.); Society
of American Artists (1904); St. Louis Exposition (1904); Society of
Washington Artists (1905) and the Salmagundi Club (1933).
work is in the permanent collections of the Terra Museum of American
Art (IL); National Museum of Art, Smithsonian Institution (Wash.,
D.C.); PAFA; Witte Memorial Museum (San Antonio TX); Fort Worth Art
Museum (TX); Metropolitan Museum of Art; Vassar College; Columbus
Museum of Art; Art Museum, Montclair, NJ and many other national
The artist was a teacher at the Pratt Institute (NYC), the Cooper Union and the National Academy.
married Grace Winthrop, June 12, 1888, who gave birth to three
children, Louis Wickham, Emily and Stanley Thompson. Curran died on
November 9, 1942 in New York City.
|Biography from The Columbus Museum-Georgia:|
|Charles Courtney Curran was born in Hartford, Kentucky on February 13,
1861, the son of Ulysses Thompson Curran and his wife Elizabeth
Thompson. (1) He spent his childhood in Sandusky, Ohio. He
studied briefly at the Cincinnati Academy of Design, and moved to New
York City in 1881. |
There he studied at the National Academy of Design, under Walter
Satterlee, and the Art Students League. At age 23, he had his
first public exhibition at the Academy. He was elected an
Associate of the Academy in 1886 and a full Academician in 1888. (2) He
received the Academy’s Third Hallgarten Prize in 1889.
From 1889 to 1891, Curran studied at the Académie Julian in Paris,
where he studied with Benjamin Constant and Jules Joseph
Lefebvre. He won an award at the Paris Salon of 1890. He
also won prizes at the Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, the
Paris Exposition of 1900, and the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in
Buffalo, New York, of which he was the Assistant Director.
In 1903, Curran was invited by artist Frederick Dellenbaugh to come to
Cragsmoor, New York, an art center in the Hudson River Valley.
(3) Seven years later, Curran established a studio there.
He would spend the next thirty years dividing his time between
Cragsmoor and New York City. During this time, he taught at the
Pratt Institute, the Cooper Union and the National Academy.
Curran is best known for his paintings of female figures posed within
picturesque vistas of the Cragsmoor area, and usually rendered in an
impressionist style. The “new” women of these paintings embodied
health and vigor. He also painted genre scenes, portraits and
landscapes, as well as a series of views of the Imperial Temples of
Curran died in New York City on November 9, 1942.
1. Biographical information taken from Lee M. Edwards, Domestic Bliss: Family Life in American Painting 1840-1910. Yonkers, NY: The Hudson River Museum, 1986, p. 108, and Michael David Zellman, American Art Analogue
(New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1986), p. 583. The Columbus
Museum’s painting will be included in a forthcoming catalogue raisonné
by Kaycee Benton.
2. He married Grace Winthrop in 1888, and they had three children together.
3. Edward Lamson Henry had established an artists' colony in Cragsmoor in 1879.
Kristen Miller Zohn, Columbus Museum
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