Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Fair Critics

Charles Courtney Curran (1861–1942)
Oil on canvas
18 x 32 in. (45.7 x 81.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Daniel and Mathew Wolf, in memory of Diane R. Wolf, 2014
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 764
A native of Kentucky, Curran moved in 1881 to New York City, where he attended the National Academy of Design and became a prolific and popular painter of genre scenes and portraits. Here, he depicted a model presenting her image to an audience of two “fair critics.” The artist, with his palette on his left knee, attempts to gauge their reactions. The lavish interior recalls William Merritt Chase’s eclectic and abundantly equipped studio, which inspired many of his contemporaries. An artist’s handsome studio signified the effort to create beauty for its own sake and reassured clients of its proprietor’s taste and sophistication.
Signature: [at lower right]: Chas. C. Curran. 1887
Property of New York Estate, until 1999; Christie, Manson & Woods, International, New York, New York Sale (Nov. 30, 1999); Collection of donor (1999-2013).
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