With Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s purchase of “Baptism in Kansas,” painted in 1928, Curry’s reputation began its ascent. In 1934, Curry returned to Westport and married his second wife, Kathleen Shepard. He began to receive important commissions, and the U.S. government selected him to paint murals for the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior. In 1936, Curry was appointed artist-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin, and, in 1937, a movement began to commission Curry to paint murals for the Kansas statehouse. Completed in 1942, these murals remain an enduring tribute to his art. Today, Curry, together with Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton, are regarded the central figures in the Regionalist (a.k.a. American Scene) movement.
Curry’s work can be found in most of America’s most prestigious collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Butler Institute of Art, the Joslyn Museum (Omaha), the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the Philadelphia Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.