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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

Arts of the Americas, Gallery 177


Charles Courtney Curran


An Alcove in the Art Students' League


New York City




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


Extended information about this artwork

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