A Sticky Situation: Tornado Over Kansas

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J.S. Curry, Tornado Over Kansas, 1929
A Sticky Situation: Peril in Painting

"Go West" they said. "Everything is great out there,"they said. Well, looks like you didn't go West enough to escape tornadoes. So now your stuck in a flat desolate, soon to be dust bowl, where even the wind is trying to kill you. But you endure, you are the hardscrabble of America and its your job to make sure those soft handed bankers and city folk on the coasts have food to eat. There is probably some poem celebrating the glory of farmers I could quote, but I'll spare you.

Artistically, thematically, and subject-wise, John Steuart Curry is similar to Benton. The faces differ, as Benton's are less defined, Curry's have more depth and are fully seen. Curry's work also possesses the bending pattern of Benton. This comes as no surprise. Benton, Curry and Grant Wood are all hailed as the heroes of Midwestern Regionalism. An interesting note on Curry's artistic life is its similarity to Norman Rockwell's. Both did illustrations for various magazines, even working on Boy's Life and The Saturday Evening Post during similar periods.

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