Charles Burchfield

Charles E. Burchfield, Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum J0001324
Name
Charles Burchfield
Also Known as
Charles E. Burchfield
Charles Ephraim Burchfield
born Ashtabula Harbor, OH 1893-died West Seneca, NY 1967
Active in
  • Salem, Ohio
  • Buffalo, New York
  • Gardenville, New York
Nationalities
U.S. States
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI
Artist Biography

After graduation from high school Burchfield won a scholarship to the Cleveland School of Art, where Henry G. Keller urged him to develop the personal style Burchfield later called "romantic fantasy." Most of Burchfield's early watercolors—he seldom painted in oil—are haunting scenes of nature in which graphic symbols become pictorial equivalents for feelings. After serving briefly in the army at the end of World War I, Burchfield found he had lost his romantic view of nature and turned during the twenties to increasingly realistic views of houses, streets, and industrial scenes that led critics to describe him as a midwestern Regionalist. Attempting to regain the intensely personal quality of his early work, in 1943 Burchfield again began painting the forces and mysterious presence of nature. He returned to watercolors done in his youth, reworking and enlarging them by adding sections of paper to the original sheets.

Virginia M. Mecklenburg Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press for the National Museum of American Art, 1987)

Works by This Artist

1917-1955
watercolor, brush and ink, gouache, and charcoal on paper mounted on paperboard
1959
watercolor and pencil on paper
1951
watercolor and pencil on paper mounted on paperboard
1924
watercolor, gouache and pencil on paper mounted on paperboard
1920
watercolor and charcoal on paper