Charles Courtney Curran, a prolific and popular painter all his life, was among the artists responsible for the rebirth of the genre tradition in late nineteenth century American art. Born in 1861 in Hartford, Kentucky, Curran spent his formative years in Sandusky, Ohio, where his family had moved in 1881. Curran studied briefly at the Cincinnati School of Design.
The following year, Curran moved to New York City. There he enrolled in the National Academy of Design, worked under the tutelage of Walter Satterlee, and later attended the Art Students League. Curran achieved early artistic recognition. He had his first exhibit at age 23 at the National Academy of Design. Five years later, the Academy awarded him Third Hallgarten Prize for A Breezy Day (date and location unknown), designated most "meritorious painting in oil." Curran's two years of study at the Academie Julien in Paris, from 1889 to 1891, likely influenced the impressionistic use of form and light in his subsequent works.
He spent the remainder of his life dividing his time between New York City and his house and studio in the Cragsmoor region of New York State. Curran died in l942.
During his life, Curran received much recognition for his figure paintings, but his style was not limited exclusively to that genre. The widely traveled artist also painted landscapes, portraits and a series of views of the Imperial Temples of Peking.