Curley, Donald Houston

Other Name: Curley, Don
Sex: Male
Birth Date/Place: Halifax, 1940
Death Date/Place: Chester, 2009
  • Painting

Biographical Links:

Donald Hosuton Curley, Artist's Biography, Chester Art Centre Lecture Series, 2014.

Donald H. Curley, Ask Art, The Artists' Bluebook.

Remembering Don Curley, October 2009,


Don graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1958 and attended classes at the Art Students League in New York from 1959-1961 and again in 1966-1968.  He studied at the Royal Academy in London from 1966-1970.

In addition to being an artist Donald was a teacher, lecturer and writer.  His subjects included landscape, seascape, marine-scapes, history, figurative work and portraits.  Don's art often tells stories about survival as related to rivers, oceans, forests and mountains.  His images are a combination of imagination, historical research and experience.  He tested every painting he finished by asking himself if the subject was believable and if he could pass into the painitng without effort.  He called his style 'objective realism' and said he'd like to be remembered for 'painting common things uncommonly well.'

He was a member of the Society of Animal Artists and was included in Who's Who in American Art and Who's Who in International Art. When he won this latter award a stamp was printed in Switzerland to honor his achievement, and featured his painting, "Sunday Morning." In 2002 the International Artist Magazine listed Don as one of the Master Painters of the World and he was selected as the Grand Prize Awrad Winner and Finalist, the first artist to be doubly honoured in the competition.  He was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002.   

Don completed many commissions, including commemorative stamps and coins. He designed ten coins for the Royal Canadian Mint which included a gold portrait coin of Alexander Graham Bell and a fifty-cent sterling silver coin commemorating the first Canadian Open Golf Championship held in 1904 at the Royal Montreal Golf Club, the oldest club in North America. 

Don's paintings are held in museums, corporations and private collections throughout the world.