John Steuart Curry


John Steuart Curry was  born in November 14, 1897 in Dunavant, Kansas and was appointed as the first artist in residence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1936.

Above: "Ajax" by John Steuart Curry (1936-1937). Curry featured Ajax the bull in several of his works and the subject became a target for mockery among those who opposed regionalist painting and considered it superficial. The satirist Marshall Glasier (a Wisconsin artist that combined Regionalism and Surrealism) mocked both "Ajax" and Curry's position at the University of Wisconsin with his 1948 painting "John Steuart Curry and the University of Wisconsin Bull-Breeding Machine".


John Steuart Curry - Painter; John Steuart Curry was born in November 14, 1897 in Dunavant, Kansas.

In 1936, Curry was appointed as the first artist-in-residence at the Agricultural College of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Curry was free to travel throughout the state and promote art in farming communities by providing personal instruction to students. This same year he was commissioned to paint a mural for the Department of Justice Building and Main Interior Building in Washington, and he was also commissioned by his home state of Kansas to paint a mural for the State Capitol at Topeka. In 1937, Curry was installed as the artist-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and he was also elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate member, and became a full Academician in 1943. Curry continued to work at the University of Wisconsin until he died of a heart attack at the age of 48 in 1946.

Oklahoma land Rush mural by John Steuart Curry.

Above: "The Oklahoma Land Rush - April 22, 1889" mural by John Steuart Curry that was commissioned in 1937 and installed in 1939. It is located at the at the Department of Interior, Washington, D.C.   (Photo from the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.) Note: It you look closely at the green wagon with the red wheels, you'll notice the wagon read, "Curry Wagon Works Madison, WI."


The Homestead and the Building of the Barbed Wire Fences mural by John Steuart Curry.

Above: "The Homestead and the Building of the Barbed Wire Fences" mural by John Steuart Curry that was commissioned in 1937 and installed in 1939. It is located at the at the Department of Interior, Washington, D.C.   (Photo from the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.)

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Justice of the Pains: The Movement Westward mural by John Steuart Curry.

Above: "Justice of the Pains: The Movement Westward" mural by John Steuart Curry (1936). It is located on south wall, fifth floor, Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.   (Photo from the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.)

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Famous Wisconsinites


John Steuart Curry
Painter


1928 Curry self portrait.

Above: 1928 Curry self portrait.


1937 Curry self portrait.

Above: 1937 Curry self portrait.


Tragic Prelude by John Steuart Curry.

Above: Tragic Prelude by John Steuart Curry. The mural depicts John Brown in the prelude to the Civil War, during the bleeding Kansas unrest. Located in Kansas State capitol, Topeka, Kansas


John Steuart Curry painted Our Good Earth as part of the war effort.

Above: Our Good Earth is a painting and war poster by Curry that highlights the symbolic importance of the heartland to the American war (WWII) effort. Lithographs of Our Good Earth are displayed in museums all over the United States, including the MMOCA in Madison, WI. The oil and tempera on canvas (seen above) of Our Good Earth (1940-41) is displayed at the Chazen Museum of Art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (on loan from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison).


John Steuart Curry painting Our Good Earth with model.

Above: University of Wisconsin Artist in residence, John Steuart Curry, painting Our Good Earth (Long May it Wave) in his studio in Madison, Wisconsin, with model, Malcom I. Ross, farm foreman at the Department of Agriculture at the University of Wisconsin.


John Steuart Curry Our Good Earth painting as a war bond poster.

Above: John Steuart Curry's Our Good Earth painting used in a WWII "Buy War Bonds" poster.


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