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Sharing our treasures

The Burchfield Penney Art Center houses the largest collection of Charles E. Burchfield (1983-1967) works and archival materials in the world, and is a proud to be an international resource for scholars, curators, students and the public. Many of our thought-provoking exhibitions continue to attract visitors from throughout the country and around the globe, even as we remain dedicated to our mission of supporting Western New York art.

For information on available exhibitions and works from the Burchfield Penney's collection, please call 716-878-4143 or email travelex@buffalostate.edu.

 

Charles E. Burchfield: Weather Event

Weather Event focuses on Charles E. Burchfield’s depictions of the weather south of Lake Erie, where the artist lived for most of his life. Individual weather events are examined through both an artistic and scientific lens. Burchfield's representations of weather, wind, skies and sounds are unique historical records of the environment near Lake Erie. In 1915, Burchfield made a series of sketches that show the changing weather and position of the sun over the course of several hours, which he called all-day sketches. Decades later, a 1950 journal entry recounts "The Day the Sun Disappeared over Western New York." In these unique instances and others the visitor experiences the landscape through Burchfield's eyes. Working with climatologist and SUNY Buffalo State professor Stephen Vermette, Ph.D., we present the dramatic and complex natural phenomenon chronicled in more than 50 years of Burchfield's writings, drawings and paintings.

For more information on Charles E. Burchfield: Weather Event, please see the exhibition page.

Required space: Approximately 205 linear feet
Works: 46 (additions and editing possible)
Catalog: paperback with essays by Tullis Johnson and Stephen Vermette, PhD.
Archival Material: 22 objects
Resources: labels, digital gallery guide and other didactic material
Booking period: 12 weeks

 

James Vullo: Deconstructing Urbania

Although artist James Vullo (1914-1999) created works in varied styles – ashcan realism, abstract cubism and landscape minimalism – at different periods in his life, his focus was always on the environment with which he was most familiar: the city and its surroundings. In his early work he depicted the darker realities of early 20th century Western New York with its growing industrial base. By mid-career, his work evolved from representations of isolated urbanism to panes of color – a visual celebration of the geometry and beauty of the architecture in the region. And his style would change dramatically again when, in his later years, he stripped away intense cubic color constructions to settle into monochromatic landscapes. Throughout his life he depicted his changing aesthetic view of a changing world – and then as now, his unique altered landscapes give audiences a sense of his perspective.

For more information on James Vullo: Deconstructing Urbania, please see the exhibition page.

Required space: Approximately 600 linear feet
Works: 55 (additions and editing possible)
Catalog: paperback with essay by Valerie Ann Leads
Archival Material: 50 sketches and related articles
Resources: labels and other didactic material
Other: Up to 25 artist-made kites
Booking period: 12 weeks

 

McCallum Tarry: Intersections

"In an extraordinarily diverse and challenging body of work, Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry focus on place, face, and narrative. Racism and other injustices are the mediating and complicating factors, often startling, always politically as well as aesthetically motivated in subtle and unexpected ways." -Lucy R. Lippard, Writer, Activist and Curator

Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry’s art connects with community. That is its core value. Their subjects are race, identity, and injustice. As a bi-racial couple, their work is political, historic and contemporary.

For more information on McCallum Tarry: Intersections, please see the exhibition page. The artists are available for lectures and other programming.

Required space: Approximately 1,800 linear feet
Works: Over 125 works, including paintings and video installations (additions and editing possible)
Catalog: in development, with essays planned by Janet Dees, Eva Diaz, Lucy Lippard, Courtney Martin and Scott Propeack
Resources: labels and other didactic material
Booking period: 12 weeks

 

Spain: Rock, Roll, Rumbles, Rebels, & Revolution

Spain: Rock, Roll, Rumbles, Rebels, & Revolution is an in-depth career retrospective of the graphic works, iconic characters, and recurring motifs of Manuel “Spain” Rodriguez, the Buffalo-born comic book artist who, in the late 1960s, was a close colleague of and frequent collaborator with the first generation of underground “comix” artists, both on the Lower East of NYC and in San Francisco (R. Crumb, Kim Deitch, Art Spiegelman, S. Clay Wilson, Bill Griffith, Vaughn Bode, et al.) and who,—along with and as much as any of them— profoundly influenced the graphic and compositional style, thematic content, and political sensibilities of two subsequent generations of graphic literature creators.

For more information on Spain: Rock, Roll, Rumbles, Rebels, & Revolution, please see the exhibition page.

Required space: Approximately 600 linear feet
Works: 75 (additions and editing possible)
Catalog: paperback with essays by Anthony Bannon, PhD., Edmund Cardoni and Donald Metz
Resources: labels and other didactic material
Other: 10-min documentary by Susan Stern, filmmaker and investigative journalist
Booking period: 12 weeks

 

Charles Cary Rumsey: Small Bronzes

Myths, memorials and the vitality of life are illustrated in small bronze sculptures and studies by Charles Cary Rumsey (1879-1922).  The Buffalo-born artist studied in Paris, where he developed an appreciation for the Beaux-Arts style of depicting animals and figures in bronze.  His special love of horses, which deepened while playing polo and creating equine portraits, can be seen in his ability to articulate anatomy in motion.  He sculpted the female figure in modes of sensuality, motherhood, and elegiac reverie, while his male figures reflected classical mythology and memorial lyricism.  Small-scaled bronze works from the collection illustrate a range of Rumsey’s work over his short career, cut short by an automobile accident.  The exhibition also includes a memorial portrait bust by Rumsey’s assistant, Edmondo Quattrocchi (1889-1966), which was recently donated to the museum.

For more information on Charles Cary Rumsey: Small Bronzes, please see the exhibition page.

Required space: Approximately 100 square feet
Works: 12-18 sculptures Catalog: Several Rumsey publications available
Resources: labels and other didactic material
Booking period: 12 weeks

 

Caustic Ink:  The Political Cartoons of Tom Toles

Tom Toles knows the power of a good symbol. And he has known it for a long time. Even back at Hamburg High School in the late 1960s, the teenage Toles organized a group of students who wore black every Monday to protest the election of Richard Nixon.   These days, and for decades now, Toles has made his living in the symbols business – as a political cartoonist for the Washington Post since 2002, and for 20 years before that, at The Buffalo News. His cartooning career began at the Buffalo Courier-Express when chief editor Douglas Turner saw a glimmer of something in the bright young illustrator’s work that he thought might translate into cartooning brilliance.   In the end, what truly distinguishes Tom Toles is not his spare drawing style, not his skewed humor, not the mini-Toles in the corner, not his politics, and not even his choice of subject matter.  It is something larger: a sensibility driven more by language and ideas than by the urge for a quick visual laugh.  And, most of all, what sets him apart is a searching, reform-minded intelligence all too rare not only in cartooning, but in all of journalism.

For more information on Caustic Ink: The Political Cartoons of Tom Toles, please contact the Burchfield Penney by email or by calling 716-878-6011.

Required space: Approximately 600 linear feet
Works: 65 (editing possible)
Catalog:  68 pp.
Archival Material: 22 objects
Resources: labels and other didactic material
Booking period: 12 weeks

 

Surrounded: Sampling Burchfield’s Wallpaper

From November 1921 to August 1929, Charles Burchfield worked at the M. H. Birge & Sons Company, eventually becoming one of their best wallpaper designers.  His designs were so highly regarded that they printed his name in the selvage.  He based many of his early designs on watercolors he had produced in Salem, Ohio.  Later designs were either company determined variations on traditional themes, or imaginative designs based on his special view of nature.  The exhibition will highlight works from the collection including color variations of wallpapers produced with rollers, original painted designs for wallpapers and coordinating fabrics known as cretonnes, as well as panels from the complex, block-printed scenic wallpaper, Country Life and the Hunt (c. 1922-1924) that had been removed from its original installation in a home in New England, donated by Gail and John Greenberger in 1999, and restored by paper conservator Patricia D. Hamm, with assistance of Eileen Saracino, James D. Hamm, and Tracy Dulniak.

For more information on Surrounded: Sampling Burchfield’s Wallpaperplease contact the Burchfield Penney by email or by calling 716-878-6011.

Required space: Approximately 205 linear feet
Works: 23 (editing and additions possible)
Catalog:  68 pp.
Archival Material: 22 objects
Resources: labels and other didactic material
Booking period: 12 weeks

 

Roycroft Books and Roycroft Objects

“One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.” Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915), founder of the Roycroft Movement

In the late 1890s, Elbert Hubbard’s Roycroft movement took hold as a reaction to – and, in some ways, against the full force of America’s industrial revolution and the concept of mass production. Adopting, then adapting, British Arts & Crafts ideals, the Roycrofters sought to reestablish an appreciation for handcraftsmanship and a return to a simpler, understated, anti-Victorian aesthetic. Artisans of the Roycroft campus in East Aurora, New York, became renowned for finely made furniture, ceramics, and everyday objects. Additionally, Hubbard and the Roycrofters were noted for their publications, including books and prints that are still highly collected today. Each of these exhibitions, Roycroft Objects and Roycroft Books, highlights the movement’s greatest achievements from the Burchfield Penney’s extensive collections. Roycroft Objects includes desktop items, everyday items for use around the home, furniture, and various other decorative yet functional works including vases, bowls, and other handcrafted ceramics. Roycroft Books contains a selection of approximately 150 works from the Burchfield Penney’s collection of more than 1,400 publications. These exhibitions will appeal to collectors, Arts & Crafts enthusiasts, architects and designers, and the general public. Roycroft Books also makes a wonderful exhibition for presentation in libraries.

For more information Roycroft Books and Roycroft Objectsplease contact the Burchfield Penney by email or by calling 716-878-6011.

Required space: Approximately 1500 square feet
Works: 40 objects (editing and additions possible)
Catalog: Several Roycroft publications available Resources: labels and didactic material
Booking period: 12 weeks

 

Remembering the Forgotten Ones: The Milton Rogovin Collection

“The most striking aspect of Mr. Rogovin's evocative work is its utter naturalism. While he captured many people in bleak surroundings, his photographs reflect no condescension or pity — or prettification — but rather an appreciation of the lives being shown.” Julie Salamon, The New York Times,  June 16, 2003

Remembering the Forgotten Ones: The Milton Rogovin Collection is an exhibition of 225 black and white photographs by internationally renowned social documentary photographer Milton Rogovin. Rogovin began his career as a photographer when blacklisting by the House Un-American Activities Committee resulted in the closing of his optometry business. Using a technique known as “shooting from the hip” - holding the camera only waist high so that the viewer must look up at the subjects - he used photography to rally for the betterment of the lives of the working class and poor. His subjects are people who were often - in art as well as daily life - exploited or misrepresented: the impoverished, recent immigrants, Native Americans, African Americans, and Hispanics who have enriched our communities but have often been overlooked by society.

Milton Rogovin is a recipient of the celebrated W. Eugene Smith Award for humanistic photography and of the New York State Governor’s Arts Awards (2000). A significant collection of his photographs, contact sheets, and correspondence with writers and activists such as Pablo Neruda and W.E.B. DuBois were accepted in the permanent collection of the US Library of Congress (1999) – the first living photographer to receive such an honor since the 1970s. In addition to the Burchfield-Penney Art Center, his photographs are found in many outstanding collections including the J. Paul Getty Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and the George Eastman House/International Museum of Photography and Film.

For more information on Remembering the Forgotten Ones: The Milton Rogovin Collectionplease contact the Burchfield Penney by email or by calling 716-878-6011.

Required space: Approximately 600 linear feet
Works: 225 black and white photographs
Catalog: Several publications are available, including English and Spanish language brochures. Reviews and publicity materials are also available.
Resources: labels and didactic material
Booking period: 12 weeks

 

Paul Sharits: Declarative Mode

Declarative Mode is a pure color work “abstract” in form but “narrative” in content. This is a “non-structural” film, even while it contains much “flicker.” One cannot predict the scene by scene fabric; nor is there an overall unifying principle. The film attempts to be like life, full of unexpected twists and turns. It is an homage to Jefferson’s anti-slavery section of the Declaration of Independence (which was voted down by the first congress) and it is my declaration of independence from the tyranny of preconception, of working from an overall structure of structural logic This new chronicle form, or “abstract narrative” prefigures a long work in progress –Passare-which will be a book of temporal color with each chapter being about 30 minutes long. In 1976, Paul Sharits received a Bicentennial Film grant, awarded jointly by the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts. With it, he created Declarative Mode, a film that celebrates the spirit and dynamism of Jefferson’s adamant declaration of human liberty for all races in pure rhythms.

For more information on Paul Sharits: Declarative Mode, please visit the exhibition page or contact the Burchfield Penney by email or by calling 716-878-6011.

Required space: Approximately 400 linear feet
Works: 18 framed and one two-channel Digital video installation
Catalog: Trade-paperback with essays by Don Metz, Andrew Nicholls, PhD., and David Carson, PhD.
Archival Material: 22 objects
Resources: labels and didactic material
Booking period: 12 weeks

 

Marilyn: The Douglas Kirkland Photoshoot

Marilyn Monroe was the idealized American woman, seductress and unstable icon. These many faces were captured in 1961. Douglas Kirkland, a 27 year old photographer working for Look magazine, met with the actress on three occasions. The focus of the meetings was a photo shoot with Marilyn, which captured her in all of her complexity.  Little did Kirkland know less than a year later Marilyn would be dead.  The opportunity for the young photographer developed out of his audacity and boldness. This was his trademark at Look.  He was living the dream of many photographers. His track record included getting, unreachable stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Marlene Dietrich. 

From early in his life Douglas Kirkland aspired to be photographer. He joined Life Magazine during the golden age of 60’s/70’s photojournalism. Among his assignments were essays on Greece, Lebanon and Japan as well as fashion and celebrity work.  Through the years, Kirkland has worked on the sets of over 100 motion pictures. Among them, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, 2001 A Space Odyssey, Out of Africa, Titanic, and Moulin Rouge.

For more information on Marilyn: The Douglas Kirkland Photoshoot, please visit the exhibition page or contact the Burchfield Penney by email or by calling 716-878-6011.

Required space: Approximately 250 linear feet
Works: 56 (editing possible)
Catalog:  An Evening/1961 with Marilyn, Douglas Kirkland, Glitterati, 2012
Resources: labels and other didactic material
Booking period: 12 weeks                                                                                                                                             Artist available for lectures/programming