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Charles Courtney Curran | Impressionist painter

Charles Courtney Curran (13 February 1861 – 9 November 1942) was an American painter. He is best known for his canvases depicting women in various settings


Curran was born in Hartford, Kentucky in February, 1861, where his father taught at the 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, where their first child Louis was born.
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.


While in Paris Curran enrolled at the Académie Julian where he began to concentrate on new subject matter and experimented with a variety of painting styles. Many of his pictures from this time were painted outdoors en plein air and features well dressed modern women enjoying a variety of leisure activities.
Two pictures from this time spent in the French capital are In the Luxembourg Garden (1889, collection of Terra Foundation for American Art) and Afternoon in the Cluny Garden, Paris (1889, collection of The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco). Curran also showed three of his pictures at the Paris Salons.
There Curran often used family members as models when he painted on the shores of Lake Erie, experimenting with a variety of artistic styles including impressionism, symbolism, tonalism and naturalism.
After the Currans visited the summer arts colony of Cragsmoor, the couple and their family would summer at Cragsmoor for the next forty years, and Curran would create some of his best known paintings in the vicinity. They feature young attractive girls dressed in white or pastel colors posed in brilliant sunshine. Two examples of these pictures are On the Heights (1909, collection of the Brooklyn Museum) and Hilltop Walk (1927, collection of Sheldon Museum of Art, University of Nebraska, Lincoln).
Although Curran continued to paint until shortly before his death, he never accepted or practiced newer artistic styles that emerged in the U.S. after World War I. He remained active with a number of arts organizations, especially the National Academy of Design where he served as secretary for fifteen years.
He also became a successful portrait artist after 1920. In addition, Curran and his wife were avid travelers, visiting Europe at least five times and even mainland China in 1936.


Charles Curran's work is represented in numerous museum collections, and his outdoor paintings of youthful women have remained popular with individual collectors.
It has been estimated that he produced more than 1500 pictures during his career. Besides oil paintings, these include watercolors and numerous illustrations for magazines in both color and black and white.

Charles Courtney Curran (13 febbraio 1861 - 9 novembre 1942) è stato un pittore Americano. Impressionista e paesaggista, Charles Curran è conosciuto come un artista che ha creato dipinti pieni di luce, spesso con giovani donne.
Nato a Hartford, nel Kentucky nel 1861, figlio di Ulisse Curran e Elizabeth Thompson. Trascorse la sua infanzia a Sandusky, Ohio. Dopo aver studiato un anno presso la Scuola di Arte di Cincinnati, poi presso la Art Students League di New York nel 1882, poi presso l'Accademia Nazionale d'Arte e successivamente all'Academie Julian di Parigi.
A Parigi fu allievo di Benjamin Constant (1845-1902), Jules-Joseph Lefebvre (1836-1911) e di Lucien Doucet (1856-1895).
E' stato docente presso il Pratt Institute, New York City, la Cooper Union e l'Accademia Nazionale. Ha ricevuto una menzione d'onore al Salon degli artisti francesi nel 1890 e alla Exposition Universelle del 1900. Fu eletto membro della National Academy of Design nel 1904 e fu anche membro del Club MacDowell, la Allied Artists Association, il New York Acquerello Club, l'American Watercolour Society e del National Arts Club.
Numerosi premi vinti in diverse mostre, tra cui il Salone di Parigi del 1890, all'Esposizione di Parigi nel 1885 e presso l'Accademia Nazionale (1888, 1893, 1895, 1919).

Rinomato per il suo contributo alla pittura americana, Charles Courtney Curran dipinte scene nei paraggi della sua casa presso New York, nel suo studio di New York ed in numerosi viaggi nel mondo. Dipinse numerosi paesaggi, dove appaiono spesso fiori e figure femminili.
Pittore per tutta la vita, Curran da un umile inizio dalla sua prima mostra, ha proceduto nella prestigiosa National Academy of Design - all'età di 23 anni. Ha studiato per breve tempo presso la Scuola d'Arte di Cincinnati prima di iscriversi presso l'Accademia d'Arte. Dal 1889 al 1891 fu a Parigi presso l'Academie Julian.
L'enfasi della scuola impressionista di forma, colore e luce rimase in lui in tutta la sua carriera. Curran ha viaggiato regolarmente tra il suo studio di una grande citta' come New York e la campagna di Cragsmoor, New York, e divenne noto per i suoi paesaggi. I suoi quadri sono immediatamente richiesti dai collezionisti americani.
Il suo lavoro e' presente in numerosi musei d' America, tra cui il Metropolitan Museum of Art, Richmond Art Museum, il National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, la Yale University Art Gallery, l'Art Institute di Chicago, al Brooklyn Museum d'Arte e la Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Ha esposto alla Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts dal 1887-1935, e presso la National Academy of Design a New York dal 1883-1943.