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Estimate: $ 2,000 - $ 3,000
JOHN STEUART CURRY A Seated Monumental Figure Reading a Scroll and Two Smaller Nudes (Moses).
Black crayon and pen and ink on cream wove paper. 300x207 mm; 12x8 1/4 inches. Initialed in ink, lower left recto.
Ex-collection art critic and friend of the artist, Thomas Craven, West Tisbury, Massachusetts.
Craven (1888-1969) was a prominent art critic and writer who promoted American Regionalism and was close friends with many of the artists who painted in the style, such as Curry (1897-1946), Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975, with whom he was roommates in a Greenwich Village apartment early in both of their careers) and Grant Wood (1891-1942). Both Craven and Curry were from Kansas, and their Midwestern upbringings affected their work in their own ways. For Curry, he depicted the rural life of his home state in many of his works. This drawing is reminiscent of the artist's depiction of John Brown (1800-1859), the Kansas abolitionist, who he illustrated in one of his most well-known works, the mural Tragic Prelude at the Kansas State Capital Building, and his lithograph John Brown. Curry based his portrayal of the famous Kansan on Michelangelo's sculpture of Moses, which is particularly seen here as the seated figure appears to be wearing a robe and holds a scroll.