Charles Burchfield

(Ashtabula Harbor, Ohio, 1893 - 1967, Buffalo, New York)

North America, American

An Ohio native, Charles Burchfield studied at the Cleveland School of Art under Henry Keller and Frank Wilcox from 1912 until 1916. During this time he performed in plays at the school, was an active member of the Kokoon Club and the Cleveland bohemian artist’s group. He frequented the popular Laukhuff Bookstore. Following his graduation, Burchfield had the first of many solo exhibitions and received a scholarship to study at National Academy of Design, in New York City. Primarily a watercolorist, Burchfield created dynamic and intense landscape scenes. These images tried to capture the power and energy in nature rather than represent it realistically. In 1921 he moved to Buffalo, New York, with his fiancée to work as a designer for H.M Birge Wallpaper Company. In 1929, gallery owner Frank Rehn convinced Burchfield to paint full time, and the following year his early watercolors were featured in the first one-person exhibition at the new Museum of Modern Art in New York. Burchfield was appreciated in his time and his 1956 retrospective exhibiton at the Whitney Museum of American Art traveled to six cities. In 1954 Burchfield was awarded the Gold Medal of American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1960.

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