Charles Courtney Curran

Selected Works

 

Biography

Curran was born in Hartford, Kentucky in February, 1861, where his father taught school. A few months later after the beginning of the Civil War, the family left there and returned to Ohio, eventually settling in Sandusky on the shores of Lake Erie where the elder Curran served as superintendent of schools. 

Charles Curran showed an early interest and aptitude for art, and in 1881 went to Cincinnati to study at the McMicken School (later the Fine Arts Academy of Cincinnati). He stayed there only a year before going to New York to study at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League. Many of the pictures he created during this period featured young attractive working class women engaged in a variety of tasks.

One was particularly noteworthy: Breezy Day (1887, collection of Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts) and won the Third Hallgarten Prize for Oils from the NAD in 1888. Shortly thereafter Curran and his young bride Grace left the United States to study in Paris, the center of the art world. On a more personal note, the Currans' first child Louis was born while the couple lived in Paris.

After two and half years abroad, the young family returned to the United States in June, 1891. For the next ten years Curran divided his time between New York where the couple had an apartment and Curran maintained a studio, and Ohio where they had extended family and spent most summers. In 1903 the Currans visited the summer arts colony of Cragsmoor for the first time. Located in the scenic Shawangunk Mountains about 100 miles northwest of New York City, the spectacular scenery and native flora inspired Curran to build a summer home there. He died in New York City in 1942.