Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Salem Bedroom Studio, Feb. 21, 1917; watercolor on paper, 27 3/16 x 22 inches (Frame: 31 7/8 x 27 3/16 inches); Gift of the Burchfield Foundation, 1975
Charles Burchfield's mother had a skylight installed in his bedroom to make it a suitable studio. He converted the eerie shapes and silhouettes he saw there into “Conventions for Abstract Thoughts,” which symbolize undesirable human characteristics and emotions. Clothes draped over the back of a chair stand for “Morbidness” or “Evil,” porcelain door knobs are orbs of “Imbecility,” and closet shadows are “Hypnotic Intensity.” These and other conventions were used as symbols in numerous other fantasy works dating from 1917.
--Content created by Nancy Weekly