Youth Helps Rebuild a World: John Steuart Curry's last work
John Stuart Curry: Youth Helps Rebuild a World in West Bend
"Youth Helps Rebuild a World", John Stuart Curry, 7'2" x 25'10"
Although Kansas-born, Curry’s impact on the arts in Wisconsin was profound. In 1936 he was appointed artist-in-residence by the University of Wisconsin-Madison to fulfill several roles: be a roving artist available to help and instruct in artistic matters as required, act as a mentor for the newly formed Wisconsin Rural Art Program – a cohort of largely self-taught artists comprised of teachers, blacksmiths, mail carriers, farmers and housewives residing in various small agricultural communities around the state – and paint murals that reflected current agricultural subjects.
Youth Helps Rebuild a World is a stellar example of this directive: monumental in size (it measures 7’ 2” x 25’ 10”), progressive in spirit and deeply empathetic to rural Wisconsin. It is currently owned by the Helen W. Schultz Revocable Trust and was conserved over eight months by Anton (Tony) Rajer. A tremendous addition to the exhibition is the mural’s preparatory watercolor sketch on loan from Keichel Fine Art in Lincoln, Nebraska. This will be the first time in almost 60 years that the two works have been together. Both will be on display at the Museum of Wisconsin Art through fall 2008.��