Curran, born in 1861 in Kentucky, moved to Sandusky, Ohio and studied at the Cincinnati School of Design. His career moved into full swing when he moved to New York City and had his first public exhibition at the National Academy and won numerous prizes from that time onward. Following his training at the National Academy he became a student at the Art Student's League and then studied at the Academie Julian in Paris from 1889 to1891. He also exhibited regularly at the Pennsylvania Academy.
In 1903 Curran moved to Ellenville, NY and established a studio where he painted impressionist styles that would occupy most of the 30 remaining years of his life. He painted portraits and landscapes as well as a series of views of the Imperial Temples of Peking.
Curran was a leader of the Cragsmoor Art Colony and often taught art and painting. He was a member of the American Watercolor Society, National Arts Club, Salmagundi Club, Society of American Artists, Alled Artists Association, New York Watercolor Club, Society of Artists and the Lotos Club. His works can be seen in permanent collections at the Terra Museum of American Art in Illinois, National Museum of Art, Smithsonian Institution in Wash. D.C, Columbus Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, National Gallery of Art in Washinton, D.C, Toledo Museum of Art, PAFA, Witte Memorial Museum in San Antonio, Fort Worth Art Museum in Texas, Vassar College, and the Art Museum in Montclair, NJ.
Curran was a teacher at the Pratt Institute, Cooper Union and the National Academy. He died on November 9, 1922 in New York City.