Dr. Curran taught courses in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art. He also taught courses in historiography, antiquarianism, and the history and theory of sculpture. Before coming to Penn State in 1997, he was a Teaching Fellow in the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia University and a member of the curatorial staff in the Department of Egyptian and Ancient Near Eastern Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He received numerous fellowships and grants, including a Samuel H. Kress Institutional Fellowship at the Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome, the Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome, a research grant from the Renaissance Society of America, and a residential fellowship at the Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence, Italy.
Dr. Curran published articles and reviews in The Art Bulletin, The Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Word & Image, The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, and Renaissance Quarterly. His books include The Egyptian Renaissance: The Afterlife of Ancient Egypt in Early Modern Italy, (University of Chicago Press, 2007), and Obelisk: A History (co-authored with Anthony Grafton, Pamela Long, and Benjamin Weiss), published in 2009 by the Dibner Library/MIT Press. He also authored a number of book chapters and essays, including “The Renaissance Afterlife of Ancient Egypt (1400–1650)” in Tim Champion and John Tait, eds., Encounters with Ancient Egypt: The Wisdom of Egypt: Changing Visions Through the Ages (UCL Press, 2003); “The Sphinx in the City: Egyptian Memories and Urban Spaces in Renaissance Rome and Viterbo” in Stephen Campbell and Stephen Milner, eds., Artistic Exchange and Cultural Translation in the Italian Renaissance City (Cambridge University Press, 2004); “Obelisks in Ancient Egypt” in Helaine Selin, ed., Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures (2nd ed., Heidelberg: Springer, 2009); “Love, Triumph, Tragedy: Cleopatra and Egypt in Renaissance Rome” in Margaret M. Miles, ed.,Cleopatra: A Sphinx Revisited (University of California Press, 2011); and “The High Renaissance, Classicism, and Antiquity: Thoughts on a Tradition and Its Discontents” in Jill Burke, ed., Rethinking the High Renaissance (Ashgate, 2012).
Dr. Curran was a recipient of the College of Arts and Architecture Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching, the President’s Award for Engagement with Students, and the George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching. He served as the editor of the Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome, an annual scholarly journal published by the academy.