The small image on the left is a Thanksgiving card my grandfather painted for my sister in 1949. Through the 40's and 50's, Wylie worked for a man named DuGar, in Cleveland, who I believe owned a sign shop. This small card is reminiscent of signage styles of the era. Wylie's personal artwork, as far as I know, consisted mainly of portraiture in oil. While his brother Noble worked as an abstract painter, Wylie's work remained highly representational. This fact contributed to the two brothers' disinterest in one another's work.
The whimsical trompe-l'oeuil painting of a cupboard with a hen and her chicks was a departure for my grandfather. Painted in 1967, it was completed the year that my grandmother Mabel Curry died. This picture was one of the few my father elected to keep after the death of his father. The sketchy quality of Wylie's brushwork on this painting is unlike the heavier application of paint typical of his earlier work. The lights and darks are still distinct and easily read, however. My father may have selected this painting to keep because he enjoyed the novelty of subject matter and the composition, with its slightly canted angles and the subtle, earthy color scheme.
In 1970, Noble Wilbur Curry painted one final abstract picture that is the latest dated painting of his that we have knowledge of. Bold strokes were layered dramatically using a strong color palette. Noble's health soon made it difficult for him to continue to paint, and his studio was essentially closed up. He was an avid reader, and an amateur astronomer, so he was not without other engaging interests. He remained very interested in the artistic impulse, and was interviewed in 1974 for the Cleveland Plain Dealer article on WPA artists.
In the late '60's, Wylie was teaching oil painting classes at The Barton Center in Lakewood, Ohio, where he met his future second wife. He and she married in 1968. Wylie sold his Lakewood, OH, home, and together he and his new wife Lydia moved to The Westerly which are apartments affiliated with the Barton Center.
Found tucked into The Westerly publication, this publicity photo shows my grandfather standing with a priest from a church in east Cleveland. Lydia wrote on the back of the photo that Wylie donated these works to the church.
Wylie Warren Curry unexpectedly died in 1977, while he was taking his usual afternoon nap. His brother Noble Wilbur Curry died four years later, in 1981, after a period of illness. The widows of the two artists became friends after the losses of their husbands. Now, in 2012, the large family of Noble's children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren all live with his paintings, drawings and prints in their homes. My sister Kathleen and I own our grandfather Wylie Warren Curry's paintings, all of which have been published on this site.
Recently, I have been contacted by an individual who has likely located one more of Wylie's paintings; I am waiting to hear more from him. We all also hope to hear from those who may know of Noble Curry's 80 unaccounted-for WPA artworks. Please email me with any information if you are reading this and know of any of these pieces!
Thank you, especially, to the members of Noble's family for your ongoing interest and support in this project. I will continue to add features to this web site. Since I last posted a chapter, I have listed the documented exhibits Noble participated in. Please click here for that list.