52 for 150: What’s So Special About John Steuart Curry?

It’s week 49 of our Kansas sesquicentennial video series, and as Kansas completes its 150th birthday year, we’ve come full-circle back to Kansas Territory and Kansas artist John Steuart Curry.

Curry, hailed as one of the three great Regionalist painters of the 20th century, painted Tragic Prelude, the infamous Kansas Statehouse mural featuring John Brown and the clash of forces in Bleeding Kansas.


About 52 for 150

Every object has a story, and stories build history. To celebrate 150 years of Kansas statehood we’re featuring 52 objects (or collections of related objects)—something new each week throughout the year—from the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library’s 130-year-old special, and permanent collections, that represent our collective state history and cultural diversity.

Our collections are available for teachers, students, researchers and general interest, and we hope this online video program will provide insight into what’s so “special” about Special Collections. Your library’s commitment to collecting art and preserving local history makes it possible for users today and in the future to have immediate access to invaluable research material and cultural artifacts.

To make an appointment to see works by Curry from our collection, or get help finding books and videos about him and his art, call or stop by the Sabatini Gallery (785-580-4515). We’re located on your right just beyond the Library rotunda entrance.


Heather Kearns

I've been the Sabatini Gallery's associate curator since 2004 and social media coordinator since 2008. My passion is helping people “get“ art, and by that I mean creating an environment both in-house and online which fosters a greater understanding, confidence, and sense of enjoyment from the art experience. Art should be easy to access and available to everyone. I take helping people very seriously.