C. Curry Bohm
- Brown County
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Claude Curry Bohm was born on October 19, 1894, in Nashville, Tennessee. He grew up in New Orleans. His mother, Pauline, was an actress. His father, Robert, painted murals and helped design the New Orleans’ Mardi Gras Festival. His father died when he was a teenager and the family moved to Louisville. Bohm worked numerous jobs including a tour with a small circus along the Ohio River and a stint in a newspaper printshop.
C. Curry Bohm studied at the National Academy with Edward F. Timmons. Shortly after marrying his wife Lillian he went to study at the Chicago Art Institute. After his studies, he worked as a printer and opened an art studio in Chicago. He became a member of the Chicago Painters and Sculptors Association, the Chicago Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts, the Hoosier Salon, the Brown County Art Gallery Association, the Indiana Artists’ Club, the Rockport Art Association and the North Shore Art Association, both in Massachusetts. He won numerous prizes including outstanding watercolor in the Indiana Artists’ Club in 1945, a gold medal in 1931 in the Palette and Chisel Academy, the Frederick M. Vance Memorial Award from the Brown County Art Gallery and several prizes in the Hoosier Salon. In 1940 he was selected to represent the State of Indiana in the Contemporary Art of the United States and exhibited at the San Francisco World’s Fair where he won a bronze medal for his snow scene ‘The Grey Blanket’.
In 1920 the Bohms began making annual trips to Brown County’s Peaceful Valley in Nashville, Indiana. Bohm was a charter member of the Brown County Art Gallery Association in 1926 and he moved to Brown County permanently in 1932. Lillian stayed in Chicago another two years to provide money while Curry established himself in Nashville.
When Lillian joined him they lived in a converted cow barn which they rented for $10 a month. Curry considered it lucky when he sold a painting of a barn on a farmhouse property on Greasy Creek, and later bought the place. When they moved to a home in Nashville in 1947, Bohm had the barn moved and reconstructed as a studio behind the house.
Bohm taught small groups of students in summer and painted snow scenes in winter. In the fall he and Lillian went to Gloucester, Massachusetts, where Curry painted the seacoast. He also painted in Tennessee and later in Mexico. His landscapes were highly regarded on the East Coast as well as in Indiana and the snow scenes became his trademark.
C. Curry Bohm died in Nashville, Indiana, at the age of 77 on November 18, 1971.
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