Class Year


Document Type

Blog Post

Publication Date

Spring 3-29-2017

Department 1

Civil War Institute


This, of course, is no deity, but rather John Brown, a man who received many appellations both during and after his lifetime. Abolitionist. Murderer. Freedom fighter. Terrorist. And this picture is known as Tragic Prelude, painted by the American regionalist artist John Steuart Curry. A native of Kansas, Curry received a commission from Governor Walter Huxman in the late 1930s to paint a series of murals depicting the state’s history for the Kansas State Capitol Building. Other scenes in the mural cycle included depictions of the explorer Francisco Coronado and Padre Padilla, but the most recent scene, as well as the largest, portrayed John Brown.


This blog post originally appeared in The Gettysburg Compiler and was created by students at Gettysburg College.