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An Alcove in the Art Students' League

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.




Charles Courtney Curran (American, 1861–1942)

About this artwork

Charles Courtney Curran documented the atmosphere and activity of the Art Students’ League in New York, where he studied and later taught. Here male and female students practice rendering the idealized human form. Students worked from casts of Greek and Roman sculptures, as well as from reproductions of classically inspired Renaissance objects, such as Michelangelo’s allegorical sculpture Night from the tomb of Giuliano de’Medici, which occupies the lower left corner of this painting. In the 19th century Night would not only have served as an effective demonstration of the art of antiquity but would also have represented one of the more difficult poses to illustrate. Once students mastered drawing antique and antique-inspired sculptures, they would have advanced to a class with live models.


On View, Gallery 177


Arts of the Americas


Charles Courtney Curran


An Alcove in the Art Students' League


New York City (Place depicted)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


signed, lower left: "CHAS. C. CURRAN 88"


21.6 × 29.2 cm (8 1/2 × 11 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Bequest of Kate L. Brewster

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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