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Charles Courtney Curran    Click Images to Enlarge

Charles Courtney Curran
Wild Azaleas and Ferns, 1916

Oil on canvas
30 x 20 inches


Charles Courtney Curran
September Breeze, 1916,
oil on canvas
30 x 20 inches,
Painted in Cragsmoor, NY
Oscar Adler

(American, 1861-1942)

Charles C. Curran is considered one of the finest American pleinaire painters of the late 19th century-early 20th century. His most exemplary works depict women and children picking flowers or strolling through pastures at the family’s Cragsmoor, New York estate. Beautifully placed brushwork, a balanced, intricate composition and capturing a sense of light are aspects masterfully handled in Gathering Flowers.

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. Nobel; the Art Students League, the National Academy of Design with Walter Satterlee; and with Constant, Lefebvre and Doucet at the Academie Julian in Paris (1889-1891). 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. His 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).

Curran’s 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; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach; Cummer Museum (FL); Richmond Art Museum (IN), Sheldon Memorial Museum of Art (NE); Butler Art Institute; National Arts Club (NY); Cheekwood (TN) and many other national collections. He was a teacher at the Pratt Institute (NYC), the Cooper Union and the National Academy. He married Grace Winthrop, June 12, 1888, who gave birth to three children, Louis Wickham, Emily and Stanley Thompson. Curran died on November 9, 1922 in New York City.

Curran is best known for his outdoor paintings of women and children enjoying leisurely activities. He painted many canvases along the Cragsmoor cliffs and is known for academically oriented, competently handled impressionistic subjects that depict naturalistically a sense of time and place.