A speaking performance at the Kansas Capitol on Saturday will honor Kansan artist John Steuart Curry, who painted two murals in the Capitol.
Actor and historian Don Lambert will portray Curry at 10 a.m. in the House chamber, basing his performance on friendships with the artist’s widow, son-in-law, brother and sister.
Curry’s family donated works of his art to the Kansas Historical Society, Kansas University’s Spencer Museum of Art and Kansas State University’s Beach Museum of Art.
A classmate of Curry’s father, a KU graduate, acted as a patron for Curry and served on a commission that brought the artist back to Kansas to paint the murals in the east and west wings of the Capitol in 1937. However, the American Regionalist painter never signed the murals after public outcry over their supposed negative portrait of Kansas blocked the completion of a middle section.
Lambert’s performance is arranged by Savor Kansas, a Topeka group established to celebrate the state’s 150th birthday.