American Painter Charles Courtney Curran - A Gallery

"Summer Clouds", "Blueberries and Ferns" and "Lady with a Bouquet" by Charles Courtney Curran

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"Summer Clouds" circa 1910 by Charles Courtney Curran.  I absolutely love this piece.  I am very curious too, what the woman in yellow is doing.  Two girls and a young boy, picking blueberries among the ferns.  I thought this was a very sweet painting.  1911, by Charles Courtney Curran.I truly love how the light is coming through the flowers in her bouquet.1890 Oil on Panel, located currently at the Birmingham Museum of Art.  "Lady with a Bouquet."
"Summer Clouds" circa 1910 by Charles Courtney Curran.  I absolutely love this piece.  I am very curious too, what the woman in yellow is doing.
"Summer Clouds" circa 1910 by Charles Courtney Curran. I absolutely love this piece. I am very curious too, what the woman in yellow is doing. | Source
Two girls and a young boy, picking blueberries among the ferns.  I thought this was a very sweet painting.  1911, by Charles Courtney Curran.
Two girls and a young boy, picking blueberries among the ferns. I thought this was a very sweet painting. 1911, by Charles Courtney Curran. | Source
I truly love how the light is coming through the flowers in her bouquet.1890 Oil on Panel, located currently at the Birmingham Museum of Art.  "Lady with a Bouquet."
I truly love how the light is coming through the flowers in her bouquet.1890 Oil on Panel, located currently at the Birmingham Museum of Art. "Lady with a Bouquet." | Source

"On the Cliff", by Charles Courtney Curran - 1910

This is such a beautiful painting.  The time period is reflected in the way the ladies and girl have done their hair.  Women wore their hair "up", while the girls wore it down and flowing.  I love the blue in the sky, and white dresses.
This is such a beautiful painting. The time period is reflected in the way the ladies and girl have done their hair. Women wore their hair "up", while the girls wore it down and flowing. I love the blue in the sky, and white dresses. | Source

Finding Charles Courtney Curran

Other than some initial pieces I have seen in an art class, and in museums, I never really realized how much I liked Charles Courtney Curran's work until I looked up other paintings. Recently, while I was researching something completely different, I came across one of Curran's beautiful paintings. So luckily, I was reminded of his paintings and looked up the rest while it was fresh in my mind.

I am inspired by these pieces of elegant art, and wanted to share them with others that may not have ever seen them before. That is the inspiration for this simple gallery. I hope you like them as much as I do.

This hub shows just a sampling of Curran's work. You will see a lot of very bright white, and light pieces that are simply stunning, in my opinion. You will also see, however, a few pieces that go to darker colors, or the subjects in the painting are in the dark or night. So he has quite a range in his painting.

"In the Luxembourg Garden" and "Afternoon in the Cluny Garden Paris" - Charles Courtney Curran

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This is another darker colored piece from Curran, very lovely! 1889Oil on panel.  This is an interesting piece and so beautiful.  If you look closely, you see several things going on. A woman feeding birds, children running in background, etc.  Very nice piece!  Located currently in the Terra Museum of American Art.
This is another darker colored piece from Curran, very lovely! 1889
This is another darker colored piece from Curran, very lovely! 1889 | Source
Oil on panel.  This is an interesting piece and so beautiful.  If you look closely, you see several things going on. A woman feeding birds, children running in background, etc.  Very nice piece!  Located currently in the Terra Museum of American Art.
Oil on panel. This is an interesting piece and so beautiful. If you look closely, you see several things going on. A woman feeding birds, children running in background, etc. Very nice piece! Located currently in the Terra Museum of American Art. | Source

Some Basic Information about Charles Courtney Curran

Charles Courtney Curran was born in Kentucky, USA. He lived from 1861 to 1942. His most well known works include women in various settings, painted on canvas. His father was a teacher in Kentucky. Not long after Charles' birth, the Civil War began. At that time, the family moved to Sandusky, Ohio, and lived on the shores of Lake Erie.

Charles Curran showed an early talent for art. By the time he was twenty years old, he went to Cincinnati for art school. Soon after that he went on to New York to study at the National Academy of Design.

For some of his paintings, Curran used his family members as models, along the shore of Lake Erie. This answered a question I had about who some of the different women were.

Curran was married to Grace, and they moved to Paris where their first child was born. They were there a few years before returning back to the States. Later, the family relocated to the Shawangunk Mountains which is about one hundred miles northwest of New York City. He was very inspired there, and built a home there. It is said he was surrounded by incredible scenery and native flora. Later, he died in New York City, in 1942.

"Lotus Lilies" by Charles Courtney Curran - 1889

An exquisite painting of ladies in a boat with lotus blossoms all around.  A very gorgeous piece of art!  Oil on canvas, and in the collection of Daniel J. Terra.  Terra Museum of American Art in Chicago, Illinois.
An exquisite painting of ladies in a boat with lotus blossoms all around. A very gorgeous piece of art! Oil on canvas, and in the collection of Daniel J. Terra. Terra Museum of American Art in Chicago, Illinois. | Source

"Paris at Night", "Lanterns" and "Fair Critics" - Charles Courtney Curran

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1889 - Oil on Panel, in the Daniel J. Terra Collection in Chicago Illinois at the Terra Museum of American Art."The Lanterns", circa 1910, by Charles Courtney Curran.  You can see the range of dark and light he can work with when you compare this piece with other light and bright ones. Fair Critics, by Charles Courtney Curran, oil on canvas, 1887.
1889 - Oil on Panel, in the Daniel J. Terra Collection in Chicago Illinois at the Terra Museum of American Art.
1889 - Oil on Panel, in the Daniel J. Terra Collection in Chicago Illinois at the Terra Museum of American Art. | Source
"The Lanterns", circa 1910, by Charles Courtney Curran.  You can see the range of dark and light he can work with when you compare this piece with other light and bright ones.
"The Lanterns", circa 1910, by Charles Courtney Curran. You can see the range of dark and light he can work with when you compare this piece with other light and bright ones. | Source
Fair Critics, by Charles Courtney Curran, oil on canvas, 1887.
Fair Critics, by Charles Courtney Curran, oil on canvas, 1887. | Source

"Lady with a Bouquet" and "Betty Newell" by Charles Courtney Curran

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This is a gorgeous oil painting, with such an amazing look on the face of the subject. That, and the garden surrounding her.  I think Curran's work here is amazing, and I truly love it. Oil on Canvas, located at Metropolitan Museum of Art.  30x30 in.
This is a gorgeous oil painting, with such an amazing look on the face of the subject. That, and the garden surrounding her.  I think Curran's work here is amazing, and I truly love it. Oil on Canvas, located at Metropolitan Museum of Art.  30x30 in.
This is a gorgeous oil painting, with such an amazing look on the face of the subject. That, and the garden surrounding her. I think Curran's work here is amazing, and I truly love it. Oil on Canvas, located at Metropolitan Museum of Art. 30x30 in. | Source

"Breakfast for Three" by Charles Courtney Curran - 1909

Another very beautiful Oil on Canvas, in the High Museum of Art.  I recall seeing this painting for the first time, and remarking to myself, wow, this is so beautiful.  Look at the looks on their faces.  Just peaceful and happy, tranquil.
Another very beautiful Oil on Canvas, in the High Museum of Art. I recall seeing this painting for the first time, and remarking to myself, wow, this is so beautiful. Look at the looks on their faces. Just peaceful and happy, tranquil. | Source

"High Country" and "On the Heights" by Charles Courtney Curran

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I love the fabric of her dress blowing, and her having to hold on to her hat.  This is a gorgeous piece.  1917 "High Country" by Charles Courtney Curran. 30x30 inches.This image is of three women with their hair up, on what seems to be high bluffs.  They are overlooking something below.  Very elegant and beautiful I think!  This oil on canvas painting is located at the Brooklyn Museum. Circa 1909
I love the fabric of her dress blowing, and her having to hold on to her hat.  This is a gorgeous piece.  1917 "High Country" by Charles Courtney Curran. 30x30 inches.
I love the fabric of her dress blowing, and her having to hold on to her hat. This is a gorgeous piece. 1917 "High Country" by Charles Courtney Curran. 30x30 inches. | Source
This image is of three women with their hair up, on what seems to be high bluffs.  They are overlooking something below.  Very elegant and beautiful I think!  This oil on canvas painting is located at the Brooklyn Museum. Circa 1909
This image is of three women with their hair up, on what seems to be high bluffs. They are overlooking something below. Very elegant and beautiful I think! This oil on canvas painting is located at the Brooklyn Museum. Circa 1909 | Source

"The Boulder", "Peonies" and "Jane Huntington McKelvey" - by Charles Courtney Curran

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The Boulder, circa 1905.  I love the smile on the woman's face, and how she is standing on the boulder.  Charles Courtney Curran.  I love this one a lot. What a lovely painting of a girl holding a bunch of peonies!  I think Curran is a very talented artist, and capturing the look on this girls face shows that in part. 1915."Jane Huntington McKelvey" circa 1905, by Charles Courtney Curran.
The Boulder, circa 1905.  I love the smile on the woman's face, and how she is standing on the boulder.  Charles Courtney Curran.  I love this one a lot.
The Boulder, circa 1905. I love the smile on the woman's face, and how she is standing on the boulder. Charles Courtney Curran. I love this one a lot. | Source
What a lovely painting of a girl holding a bunch of peonies!  I think Curran is a very talented artist, and capturing the look on this girls face shows that in part. 1915.
What a lovely painting of a girl holding a bunch of peonies! I think Curran is a very talented artist, and capturing the look on this girls face shows that in part. 1915. | Source
"Jane Huntington McKelvey" circa 1905, by Charles Courtney Curran.
"Jane Huntington McKelvey" circa 1905, by Charles Courtney Curran. | Source

"A Breezy Day" - Charles Courtney Curran and Photo of Curran

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This is one of his more famous works.  It is currently located at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.  1887 Oil on Canvas, with dimensions of  30.3 x 50.8 cm.Circa 1909, photo of Charles Courtney Curran, taken by an unidentified photographer.
This is one of his more famous works.  It is currently located at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.  1887 Oil on Canvas, with dimensions of  30.3 x 50.8 cm.
This is one of his more famous works. It is currently located at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. 1887 Oil on Canvas, with dimensions of 30.3 x 50.8 cm. | Source
Circa 1909, photo of Charles Courtney Curran, taken by an unidentified photographer.
Circa 1909, photo of Charles Courtney Curran, taken by an unidentified photographer. | Source

Charles Courtney Curran - Some Final Thoughts

The above painting, "Breezy Day", is one to point out in particular. It was created in 1887, and was part of a collection of Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Breezy Day won the Third Hallgarten Prize for oils from the NAD, in 1888. The flowing white sheets in the breeze, are simply beautiful. The women in the grass, while so simple, is so elegant and lovely.

As for my overall "take" on Charles Courtney Curran, I am simply blown away. It is hard to say why exactly, but I truly love his work. It has a depth to it, and a simplicity all at the same time. Just when I thought it was going to be a majority of skies and flowers and women, along come some other pieces that you can tell were inspired by a whole different location, and activity.

The faces, and the way he captured their moods in the different pieces, allows the viewer to nearly feel the same thing the subjects are. Little things like the goldenrod flowers in the one picture, to the lanterns in the other, have a way of making me remember them. It is hard to explain.

Having been through Kansas a few times, often the sky and clouds do look that blue, and that beautiful. I feel fortunate to have found this artist and am so happy to view the world through his lens, even if just for a little bit. He is an incredible artist.

As for my favorite from this grouping of pieces, it is too hard to pick one. I will say that some of my favorites here are The Boulder, Lotus Lilies, Breakfast for Three, and In the Luxembourg Garden. That said, if you ask me on another day, I may have some other favorites. They are all wonderful to me.

"Sunshine and Haze", "The Cabbage Field" and "Goldenrod"- Charles Courtney Curran

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A woman overlooking a valley, near a cliff.  The pastel colors are beautiful, and the valley below looks almost like a patchwork quilt. 1915 by Charles Courtney Curran. The Cabbage Field, circa 1910. This piece really speaks to me also.  I really love Curran's work, the more I view it.  Simply sensational. "Goldenrod" painting by Charles Courtney Curran, circa 1910.
A woman overlooking a valley, near a cliff.  The pastel colors are beautiful, and the valley below looks almost like a patchwork quilt. 1915 by Charles Courtney Curran.
A woman overlooking a valley, near a cliff. The pastel colors are beautiful, and the valley below looks almost like a patchwork quilt. 1915 by Charles Courtney Curran. | Source
The Cabbage Field, circa 1910. This piece really speaks to me also.  I really love Curran's work, the more I view it.  Simply sensational.
The Cabbage Field, circa 1910. This piece really speaks to me also. I really love Curran's work, the more I view it. Simply sensational. | Source
"Goldenrod" painting by Charles Courtney Curran, circa 1910.
"Goldenrod" painting by Charles Courtney Curran, circa 1910. | Source

Poll- Charles Courtney Curran

Have you ever heard of or seen the work of artist Charles Courtney Curran?

See results without voting

Longer Video with Classical Music Showing Curran's Art

Locations Charles Courtney Curran lived, studied and worked.

show route and directions
A markerHartford, Kentucky -
Hartford, KY, USA
[get directions]

In 1861, where Curran was born.

B markerSandusky, Ohio -
Sandusky, OH, USA
[get directions]

Where Curran's family moved once the Civil War began.

C markerParis, France -
Paris, France
[get directions]

Where Curran enrolled at the Academie Julian, where he experimented with different painting styles.

D markerShawangunk Mountains -
Shawangunk Mountains, Gardiner, NY 12525, USA
[get directions]

A beautiful area that really inspired Curran.

E markerCincinnati, OH -
Cincinnati, OH, USA
[get directions]

1881 After Curran showed an aptitude for art, Enrolled for one year at the McMicken School, later to be called the Fine Arts Academy of Cincinnati.

© 2015 Paula

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Comments 16 comments

Dbro profile image

Dbro 23 months ago from Texas, USA

What a beautiful article, Paula! Thanks so much for sharing the work of this talented artist. I have seen some of these paintings in the past, but did not know about the artist. As an artist myself, I can appreciate the luminous quality Mr. Curran achieved in his work. I really like his subject matter too. His paintings seem to evoke a simpler, more gentle time - something I think many of us yearn for.


Ann1Az2 profile image

Ann1Az2 23 months ago from Orange, Texas

What a great hub! I really enjoyed it. I never have heard of this painter but I really like him. I think my favorite is the two girls in the boat around the lotus blossoms - absolutely gorgeous. Thanks so much for bringing this painter to life for us!


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 23 months ago from The Midwest, USA Author

Hello Dbro, it makes me happy to know of this artist and share the information. I am glad you made the comments you did, being an artist yourself. The luminous quality you mention is part of what I love so much, as well as the subject matter. Things like this that take one back to a gentler and simpler time are wonderful. Thank you for your comment.


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 23 months ago from The Midwest, USA Author

Hello Ann, I am so glad you liked this hub! It is great to learn of such great painters as Mr. Curran, because of the beauty he shared with the world. I agree, that painting with the lotus blossoms is absolutely gorgeous! So glad you stopped by and commented, thank you!


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 23 months ago from Victoria, Australia

I'd never heard of him before, but he's so talented. Love the paintings, although he seemed to greatly prefer to paint young women and girls.


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 23 months ago from The Midwest, USA Author

Hello Blossom, I agree, that he is so talented but somewhat unknown to the average person. I also agree that it seems his favorite thing to paint was females of all ages. He did branch out some, but not too much that I can see. He did many other works that are not seen here, but can be seen in the video, and I am sure other places. Thank you for the comment and visit.


grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 23 months ago from Philippines

He's a great American artist. I love his choice of colors. The Lotus Lilies are truly enchanting. Wish I had that one.


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 23 months ago from The Midwest, USA Author

Hello Grand Old Lady, I agree with you about the colors and being a great American artist. The one of the Lotus Lilies is a favorite of mine as well, and I wouldn't mind having one of those either! Thanks for stopping by and for your comment.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 22 months ago from sunny Florida

These are simply outstanding. I am not familiar with this artist but now will be checking our library so I can see more. Some of them are so vivid as to appear as photographs.

thanks for the introduction.

Angels are on the way to you today. ps

Nothing makes me happier than to read on a particular day and find a number of hubs to share. Today has been one of those days.

shared voted up++++ g+ tweeted


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 22 months ago from California

Beautiful work! I love the light and movement in his works--and this was an artist that I don't know--Thank you!


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 22 months ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

This is an artist of whom I had not heard before. I really got caught up in the examples you share - I went through the gallery twice. Beautiful work. Thanks for sharing it.


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 22 months ago from The Midwest, USA Author

Hi Patricia, I am so glad you also think these photos are outstanding, as I do! I was not familiar either, but I loved his work, so learned about him and just had to share. Love the angels, and thank you for your sharing, reading, commenting, , etc! I truly appreciate it.


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 22 months ago from The Midwest, USA Author

Hello Audrey, I think Curran's work is beautiful too! He has such a unique way with art, and the images really stood out to me. Glad to share him so others can know as well! Thank you for the comment and visit, and share!


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 22 months ago from The Midwest, USA Author

Hi Ron, it makes me so happy you liked the art to look at the gallery twice! That is how I was when I first saw some of his work also. I recall wondering, "why have I not heard of this artist before?" So it makes me so glad to share it. Thank you for your comment!


Charito1962 profile image

Charito1962 14 months ago from Manila, Philippines

Hi. I never heard of Charles Courtney Curran until I read this hub.

Yes, his paintings of the women are elegant. I like "Summer Clouds", "Lotus Lilies", and "Breakfast for Three".

Interesting artist. Thanks for featuring him, Paula.


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 12 days ago from The Midwest, USA Author

Hello, Charito. I am so glad you came across my hub and were able to enjoy some of Charles Courtney Curran's art. I love all the ones you mentioned. Thank you for stopping by and for your comment.

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