DescriptionJOHN STEUART CURRY (American, 1897-1946)
John Brown (Cole 34), 1939
14-3/4 x 11 inches (37.5 x 27.9 cm) (image)
18-1/4 x 13-1/4 inches (46.4 x 33.7 cm) (sheet)
Signed in lower right margin: John Steuart Curry
Published by Associated American Artists, New York
S. Coppel, The American Scene: Prints From Hopper to Pollock, British Museum, London, 2008, p. 136-139.
Curry produced this iconic American print of the celebrated abolitionist John Brown while he was painting a mural for the Kansas State Capitol Building in Topeka (1937-1942). The mural featured an expansive figure of the ferocious Brown similar but not identical to the one in this lithograph, wide-eyed and bellowing like a modern-day Moses, as he rallies the forces of antislavery with the power of a Kansas tornado seen in the background. Curry's attraction to the subject of John Brown was tied to his own biography, for he was native of Kansas, a state torn apart by the debate over slavery. In 1939, Curry also produced an easel painting titled John Brown (Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), which is the work upon which this lithograph is directly based.
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