Active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, American painter Charles Courtney Curran developed a sense of golden light that still resonates with viewers today.
Charles Courtney Curran (1861-1942) was an impressionistic painter with a proclivity for depicting women in the landscape, rendered in warm light and cool shadows. As essays on the play of light, Curran’s paintings have sustained aesthetic interest, and as visions of a simpler, bucolic and idyllic era, they convey a charming air of nostalgia. Surprisingly, there has not been a critical retrospective on the work of this American Impressionist painter until now.
Charles Courtney Curran, “Lotus Lilies,” 1888, oil on canvas, 18 x 32 in. Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.35; Photography © Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago
The Frick Art & Historical Center in Pittsburgh is hosting a loan exhibition in honor of Curran that will contribute significantly to his esteem in the history of American painting. “Charles Courtney Curran: Seeking the Ideal” is on view now and continues through February 1, 2015.
Charles Courtney Curran, “On the Heights,” 1909, oil on canvas, 30 1/16 x 30 1/16 in. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of George D. Pratt, 24.110
“Seeking the Ideal” comprises approximately 60 paintings, including some of Curran’s most familiar paintings, such as “Lotus Lilies” (1888) and “On the Heights” (1909). Many of the paintings on view have been loaned from prestigious collections (the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Terra Foundation for American Art, and the Brooklyn Museum) that first acquired Curran’s work during the height of his popularity in the early 20th century. Henry Clay Frick, the benefactor and namesake of the host museum, was another of Curran’s admiring collectors.
Charles Courtney Curran, “Woman with Horse and Carriage (Going for a Drive),” 1890-91, oil on canvas, 11 1/2 x 8 1/2 in. Frick Art & Historical Center, Pittsburgh
Organized and premiered by the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee, the exhibition will travel to its third and final destination, the Columbia Museum of Art in South Carolina, after its run at the Frick.
To learn more, visit the Frick’s website.