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Curry, John SteuartDate of birth and death: 1897 - 1946
Nationality: AmericanUploaded artworks: 14
John Steuart Curry (November 14, 1897 - August 29, 1946) was an American painter. Along with Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood, he was hailed as one of the three great painters of American Regionalism of the first half of the twentieth century.
John Steuart Curry was born on a farm in Dunavaunt, Kansas. His early life consisted of caring for the animals on the farm, attending the near by high school and excelling in athletics. His childhood home was filled with many reproductions of Peter Paul Rubens and Gustav DorÃ©, and these artistâ€™s styles played a significant role in crafting John Curryâ€™s own style.
His family was very religious as were most people in Dunavaunt. Curry was encouraged to paint animals around the farm and at the age of twelve he had his first art lesson. In 1916 John entered the Kansas City Art Institute, but after only a month there he transferred to the Art Institute of Chicago, where he stayed for two years. In 1918 he attended Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. After he graduated, Curry worked as an illustrator.
In 1926 Curry spent a year in Paris studying the works of Gustave Courbet, and Honore Daumier as well as the color techniques of Titian and Rubens. After his return to the United States he settled in New York City but shortly thereafter he and his wife moved to Connecticut in 1924. The Federal Art Project was instituted in 1934 as a way to give work to artists and alleviate the effects of the Great Depression. In 1936, Curry was appointed as the first artist in residence at the Agricultural College of the University of Wisconsin. He was free to travel throughout the state and promote art in farming communities by providing personal instruction to students. Curry continued to work until he died of a heart attack at the age of 48 in 1946.
Curry was part of the Midwestern Triumvirate of American Regionalism which included Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood; these men were hailed as the three great painters of Regionalism. Regionalism was associated with the area beyond the Mississippi, mainly Iowa, Missouri and Kansas. The artists who were associated with Regionalism were concerned with rural nostalgia, and the American heartland. Regionalism was essentially a revolt against at least one major evil of the industrial revolution: centralization. (Centralization of manufacturing established low cost efficient factories and assembly line production, which promoted mass production and reduced individual characteristics.)
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