Charles Courtney Curran was born in Hartford, Kentucky on February 13, 1861, to parents Ulysses Thompson Curran Elizabeth Thompson. In 1881 he moved to Sandusky, Ohio. He studied at the Cincinnati School of Design for one year, before moving to New York to enroll in the National Academy of Design, where he studied under Walter Satterlee. Here Charles Curran had his first public exhibition at the age of 23. Five years later he received the National Academy of Design’s Third Hallgarten Prize for A Breezy Day, which was considered the most “meritorious painting in oil”.
After studying at the National Academy he went on to study at the Art Students’ League. From 1889 to 1891, he studied at the Academie Julian in Paris. The source of his inspiration was French artist Jules Bastien-Lepage, with his paintings of peasants as a common subject matter.
In 1903, artist Frederick Dellenbaugh invited Charles to Cragsmoor, an art center in the Hudson River Valley near Ellenville, New York. Here he often taught art and painting. He moved to a house in the area in 1910, where he established a studio. It was at this time that he turned to the Impressionist style that lasted the remainder his career: young women in bright sunlight. Charles Curran occasionally painted portraits and landscapes, as well as a series of views of the Imperial Temples of Peking.
Curran’s awards include prizes at the National Academy (1888, 1893, 1895, and 1919), Paris Salon (1890), Columbian Exposition, Chicago (1893), Atlanta Exposition (1895), Paris Exposition (1900), Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, NY (1901), Society of American Artists (1904), St. Louis Exposition (1904), Society of Washington Artists (1905), and the Salmagundi Club (1933).
Charles Curran exhibited regularly at the Pennsylvania Academy from 1887 to 1935. His works can be seen in collections at the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio. His work is in the permanent collections of the Terra Museum of American Art in Illinois, National Museum of Art, Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., PAFA, Witte Memorial Museum in San Antonio, Texas, Fort Worth Art Museum in Texas, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Vassar College, Columbus Museum of Art, Art Museum in Montclair, NJ and many other national collections.
Charles Curran died November 9, 1942 in New York City.