American (1861-1942) 
"The South Wind (Breezy Day)" 
oil on
canvas, signed "Charles C. Curran" and dated "1917" lower right. 
40 x 30 inches












Charles Courtney Curran was born in Kentucky and raised in Ohio. He first studied at the Cincinnati School of Design before moving to New York City in 1882. In New York City he attended the National Academy of Design (NAD) and the Art Student’s League. He exhibited his first painting at the NAD in 1883 at 23 years old. From 1888-1891 Curran studied at the Academie Julian in Paris. While abroad, he successfully exhibited works at the Paris Salon and at Durand-Ruel Gallery.


In 1891, Curran returned to the States where he continued to enjoy success exhibiting at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the NAD, Exposition Universelle in Paris, the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, the Louisiana Purchase exhibition and many others. He was elected a full Academician in 1904.


For 40 years Curran and his family would summer in Cragsmoor, New York, a growing artist colony since the late 19th century. The artist and his family were very active in the community participating in summer social activities and helping to improve the town. Curran would “load his painting equipment into a child’s red wagon and head off to Bear Hill to work.”[1]


From 1908-1910 Curran built “Winahdin,” a family summer home in Cragsmoor, New York. It was there that he painted the pastel colored landscapes for which he best remembered, including the present lot. Curran’s best works from his Cragsmoor years feature young, elegant women in bright sunlight. The subjects are typically perched on cliffs set against a dramatic sky. In The South Wind (Breezy Day) a woman stands at the cliff with her shawl billowing in the wind. According to Kaycee Benton, Curran historian, the model is standing on a ledge at Bear Hill.


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 and many other national collections.




[1] Faquin, Jane Ward with Maria Jaelnak. “Charles Courtney Curran: Seeking the Ideal.” Dixon Gallery and Gardens (2014), p. 25.

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