Bryan honors Dr. Black for gift of prints

June 3, 2014

black5smBryan College honored Dr. Donald Black at a reception Oct. 28 acknowledging his gift of five lithographs by American Regionalist artist John Steuart Curry.

Dr. Donald Black, left, Bryan President Dr. Stephen Livesay, and Dr. Ruth Kantzer speak during the reception honoring Dr. Black for his gift of John Steuart Curry prints, one of which is pictured at left. In 1984, Dr. Kantzer, then professor of English at Bryan, curated an exhibit of Curry art at the college, an exhibition which received significant support from Dr. Black. Dr. Black, a distant relative of the artist, traced his growing appreciation for Curry, who is best known for paintings such as “Baptism in Kansas” and “The Tragic Prelude” from the time he first heard of the artist at 5 years of age,

“In the early 1980s, my uncle Russell went to his high school reunion in Kansas, and my sister and I went with him. We were able to get to know a number of people in his generation who were models for some of Curry’s works. For instance, my mother remembered the day depicted in ‘Baptism in Kansas,’” Dr. Black said.

Steve Keck, Bryan’s director of gift and estate design, coordinated the college’s efforts to display the lithographs, now hanging in the library. “Dr. Black has a passion for Bryan College and for art,” Mr. Keck said. “This gift is valuable to the college particularly as we are working to build our art program, and it is even more significant because he is related to the artist. We hope this will become the centerpiece of a collection to be displayed in a museum planned for the Bryan campus.”