John Steuart Curry
John Steuart Curry was born in 1897 in the hamlet of Dunavant, Kansas to a family of hardworking Presbyterian farmers. He attended the Kansas City Art Institute in 1916, the Chicago Art Institute from 1916-1918 and apprenticed under illustrator Harvey Dunn in New Jersey in 1920. He studied in Paris from 1926-1927, after which he returned to the United States to settle in New York, where he remained until 1936, taking summer sojourns to Kansas until being appointed artist-in- residence at the School of Agriculture at the University of Wisconsin.
Curry participated in an exhibition in 1931, which traveled to Kansas City, Topeka, Manhattan and Wichita. After viewing the exhibition, John Helm, Jr. and the Friends of Art at Kansas State Agricultural College began raising funds to purchase a Curry piece for the school’s art collection. In 1935, Kansas State became the first public institution in Kansas to purchase a work by Curry. To show his appreciation, he donated four lithographs and a watercolor.