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Monument Rock

John Steuart Curry and Kansas: The Muse is Not Amused

January 14, 2014 - May 11, 2014
Venue: Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art
Address: 701 Beach Lane, Manhattan, KS 66506
Time: Monday Closed Tuesday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Wednesday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Thursday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Friday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Sunday 12:00–5:00 pm
Admission: free
Contact: 785-537-7718
Phone: 785-537-7718
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Details
In his quest to present images of Midwest life to the world, Curry often drew upon memories of his native Jefferson County, Kansas, it’s folkways, religious rites, and weather. This caused no end of tension between the artist and certain Kansans who, then as now, were sensitive to being portrayed as religious zealots and rustics. Their hostile initial reaction to his Topeka Capitol murals—notably the iconic Tragic Prelude featuring an outsized John Brown—caused Curry to abandon the project. In this talk, historian Dianne Eickhoff and journalist Aaron Barnhart recount the controversy over Tragic Prelude and assess it, and other Curry works, in light of Kansas’ storied history. Curry’s historical epic is compared with George Caleb Bingham’s Order No. 11, which met with similar reception in its time but has gained wider acceptance. In conjunction with John Steuart Curry: Selections from the Permanent Collection. Sponsored by the Richard Coleman Beach Museum of Art Lecture Series fund.