Art Talk: Philip C. Curtis

I first discovered the art of Philip C. Curtis when I met Philip J. Curtis.  With Philip C. Curtis, I discovered a style of art I'd never seen before, and with the other Curtis I discovered the man who would later become my husband. Win Win.

Philip C. Curtis was born and raised in Jackson in 1907. After an exciting career as an arts administrator for the WPA Manhattan Mural Project, he went on to found what today is the Phoenix Art Museum. At age 40 he returned to Arizona and began a life as an artist. 

He was called an American surrealist and the Magritte of the Old West.  His paintings aren't disturbing like Dali or Ernst, they are curious and his subjects are the stuff of dreams and memories.

The place where he lived is part of CattleTrack. Walking around his studio gave me a glimpse into the life of a man I wish I had known. I love knowing that he was friends with Frank Lloyd Wright and also knew Louise Nevelson; they met when she went to Phoenix to install a sculpture. I often wondered if they talked about Jackson's Summer Night Tree.

Walk into Ganton Art Gallery and step into the Arizona desert.  Discover something new.  Let me know what you think.

Ganton Art Gallery at Spring Arbor University: Monday-Friday, 9-5 PM, Saturday - Sunday, 1-5 PM. Exhibit closes March 12. On March 9, at 6:30 PM there will be a free art talk and reception with gallery hours extended until 8 PM.

For more information on Philip C. Curtis, visit his website or call (517) 750-6590. 


Kim Curtis is the Executive Director of Jackson School of the Arts. The Jackson School of the Arts provides the community with art, dance, and theater classes as well as a variety of other programs, special workshops, and annual events like the Fairy Festival. For more information on the Jackson School of the Arts, visit their website.

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