This long-awaited volume marks the centennial of an important and controversial artist, one of the great American Regionalists. Essays cover every aspect of his life and work, and reproduce his finest paintings and drawings of farm life in Kansas, the circus, and the American scene in general.
Curry's reputation has languished since his premature death at age 48 in 1946. This work of images and criticism is a reminder of his place alongside Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood as the so-called American regionalists, whose Depression-era legacy is widely visible in their public murals. Curry's can be seen at the Departments of Justice and the Interior in Washington, and his most famous mural, Tragic Prelude--John Brown (the very picture of apocalyptic prophecy), is at the Kansas statehouse. Curry grew up in Kansas, where the weather is the landscape. Tornado, agree the six art curators recruited by Junker, is his masterpiece and illustrates this book's dust jacket, but as to Curry's overall repute, they tend to find fault. General opinion (and Thomas Hart Benton's, whose tribute to Curry is reprinted) is more forgiving than professional views, for Curry powerfully depicted the life of ordinary folk--on the farm, in the circus, in religious rituals. Suitable for most libraries, highly so for those in Kansas, Wisconsin, and Connecticut, the locales of Curry's studios. Gilbert Taylor
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