Friday, August 15, 2014

Charles Curran's Hilltop Women

Charles Courtney Curran (1861 – 1942) was of the same ilk as his Boston School contemporaries, though he did his work in New York State and Ohio rather than in or near The Hub. His Wikipedia entry is here, and a more detailed biography can be found here.

Curran was highly skilled and painted attractive women in a variety of settings for the most part. For nearly 20 years or so he made many paintings of young, usually white-clad woman on hilltops near his summer home in Upstate New York. I offer a sampling of these below.


View of Ellenville, New York
This is the area where Curran did his hilltop scenes. Ellenville lies in Ulster County, up the Hudson River from New York City, near the southeastern corner of the Catskill Mountains. The view is from the Shawangunk Ridge near the tiny village of Cragsmoor (about three miles south of Ellenville), where Curran had a summer home. The Catskills are seen in the background.

Faraway Thoughts
This painting is more hard-edge than most of the others.  I don't have a date for it, so can't give it context.

Noonday Sunlight - 1918

On the Cliff - 1910

On the Heights - 1909

Summer - 1906

Summer Clouds - 1917

Sunlit Valley - 1920

Sunshine and Haze
I like this (and the preceding image) because Curran did a convincing job of painting the usually humid summer atmospherics of that part of New York State. I can attest to this because I spent more than four years in Albany and traveled to the Catskill region many, many times in those days.


Stephanie Berry said...

I love that women hiked in such lovely white dresses and appear fresh as daisies. I did a painting from an older photo of women on a local mountain top and they all had their black skirts and boots but white mutton sleeved blouses...and straw hats!

mike shupp said...

I rather liked "On the Cliff" since the three young ladies seem to have different attitudes towards the depths below and three different ages. "On the Heights" was pretty punk. The last three paintings ... I liked them. I REALLY liked them. I don't know that I loved them so much that I'd spend big bucks at an auction to acquire them, but beautiful young women outside under clouds on a bright sunny day artfully drawn ... you'd have to be an evil person to not smile and appreciate them.

Well... I'm not an artist, and not a very sophisticated viewer.