Charles Courtney Curran : Seeking the Ideal

February 20 - May 17, 2015

Take a multimedia tour!

We have tours for adults and children available for use during your visit. Check them out now, then come and make the most of your experience in the galleries.

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Charles Curran's heart was claimed by women, children, and flowers, and he devoted a lifetime to painting them in the full light of day out-of-doors. "What normal human being," he wrote, "can see a garden full of flowers in bloom or a hillside sprinkled with nature's own decorations, the wild flowers, without an emotion of joy?" His goal as a painter was to capture that joy on canvas. Seeking the Ideal brings together 58 Curran masterpieces sure to astonish with their jewel-like color, soaring vistas and garden landscapes, and love for beauty.

Organized by the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, with the Frick Art & Historical Center and the Columbia Museum of Art.

From the Exhibition

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Guest Post: High Schooler Julia Miller

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Who wouldn’t want to be a Victorian lady, wrapped in the finest silk and chiffon? (Well, actually, if you believe in women’s rights, pants, and anti-child labor laws, quite a few people. But that’s a different essay.) The women in Charles Courtney Curran’s paintings look seductively perfect and pristine: they have smooth skin, beautifully coiffed hair, and are outfitted in the latest fashions.

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Reading Into Curran: Debussy

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Richland Library's Sarah Gough talks about the impressionist composer Claude Debussy, a man with more in common with Charles Courtney Curran than one might think.

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Reading Into Curran: American Impressionism

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Richland Library's Sarah Gough explains what makes the clean and precise work of Charles Courtney Curran Impressionist. While recommending the wonderful book "American Impressionism" by Dr. William H. Gerdts.

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The CMA would like to thank the following sponsors:

We greatly appreciate ongoing support from

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  • The Lucy Hampton Bostick Residuary Trust

Presenting Sponsors

  • Darnall and Susan Boyd
  • Dr. Suzan D. Boyd and Mr. M. Edward Sellers
  • Joyce and George Hill
  • Hannah and Ron Rogers

Silver Sponsors

  • Kay and John Bachmann
  • Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA
  • Helen and John Hill
  • Dr. and Mrs. Nicholas K. Moore

Bronze Sponsors

  • Dr. Gail M. Morrison
  • ReNewell, Inc. Fine Art Conservation

Friends of Curran Sponsors

  • Ms. Jane Rush Davenport
  • Mr. and Mrs. David E. Dukes
  • Grimball Cotterill Landscape Architects
  • Walda Wildman

Support Also Provided By

  • Anynomous
  • Mr. and Mrs. James M. Myers
  • Mrs. Myrtle T. Robinson