CURRY, John Steuart
American (1897 – 1946)
John Brown, 1939
Cole 34. Lithograph on wove paper, full margins. Edition of 250 published by Associated American Artists. Signed in pencil.
14 7/16 x 10 1/8 inches | 36.7 x 25.7 cm
Based on The Tragic Prelude, Curry’s mural for the rotunda of the Kansas State Capitol, this lithograph portrays the abolitionist martyr John Brown, best remembered for his failed attempt to incite a slave uprising by raiding a military arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, in 1859. In Curry’s image, Brown’s arms are outstretched, and he towers above a crouched African American to his left. Curry modeled Brown’s head on Michelangelo Buonarotti’s sculpture of Moses, linking Brown’s abolitionist zeal to religious fervor. In the distance, a tornado and wildfires foreshadow the American Civil War. [Art Institute of Chicago]