Burchfield, Charles, 1893-1967, American painter, b. Ashtabula, Ohio, studied at the Cleveland School of Art. Living at first in Ohio, then moving (1925) to upstate New York, he worked (1921-20) as a wallpaper designer. His paintings, predominantly in watercolor, fall into three periods: from 1916 to the early 1920s, poetic evocations of nature; from the early 1920s to the early 1940s, bold, somber landscapes and urban scenes; and after 1943, a return to lyric expressions of nature, painted with a heightened sense of emotion. Although Burchfield is widely known for his depiction of crumbling Victorian mansions, false-front stores, railroad yards, and other relics of late-19th-century small-town America, his most successful works are usually considered to be his intense, boldly drawn, and highly colored portrayals of nature. Weather and sunlight effects are important in all his works, and along with his friend and contemporary Edward Hopper, he is considered a founder of American Scene painting. Among his many works in museums are Setting Sun through the Catalpas (Cleveland Mus. of Art), October (Columbus Gall. of Fine Art, Ohio), Freight Cars under a Bridge (Detroit Inst. of Arts), and An April Mood (Whitney Mus., New York City).

See The Drawings of Charles Burchfield with text by the artist (1968); Charles Burchfield's Journals (ed. by J. B. Townsend, 1992); biography by J. Baur (1982).

The Burchfield-Penney Art Center is located on the campus of Buffalo State College and was founded in 1966. It contains over 100 works by Charles Burchfield and a sizeable collection of woodcut prints from Buffalo-native J. J. Lankes, among other artists.

The museum is moving to a new home located on of land at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Rockwell Road in Buffalo, New York. The new 75,000 square foot museum is designed by Gwathmey Siegel and Associates Architects, and is scheduled to open in fall of 2008.

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