“John Steuart Curry: The Cowboy Within” shows a new side of the Kansas-born artist


Rural Kansas is well-known in state history for its farms, stormy weather and waves of amber grain. One artist — John Steuart Curry — painted these hallmarks and more, and for a limited time, some of his works are on display at the Beach Museum of Art.

Elizabeth Seaton, curator, said the museum’s collection of Curry’s art amasses more than 900 drawings, prints and paintings donated in the early 2000s by his wife Kathleen Curry.

This isn’t the first time the pieces have been on display, Seaton said.

“We regularly use the collection in teaching and exhibitions,” she said.

The current exhibit focuses specifically on his body of work done about the historic west and 1940s Arizona, where he moved during the Great Depression.

This exhibit, Seaton said, is a new twist on his art.

“The artist is really best known for his Kansas imagery,” Seaton said.

Curry grew up in Dunavant, Kansas and attended the Kansas City Art Institute before transferring to the Art Institute of Chicago.

Curry and fellow artists Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Woods made up the Regionalist Triumvirate. The three of them were from Midwestern states and used their surroundings as inspiration.

Anya Gleichmann, junior in english, said she was impressed with the work.

“I think art is always important, no matter the era it was made,” Gleichman said.

Hayley Meier, a K-State alumna in microbiology, said Curry’s work doesn’t just pertain to the Great Depression.

“There are some that definitely seem like they could be relevant in lots of different societies, no matter the time period,” Meier said.

The special exhibit will be available until March 21, 2020.