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Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Easter Morning in the Woods (left side), 1947-1960; charcoal and watercolor on paper, 39 1/2 x 29 1/2 inches (Frame: 42 1/4 x 32 1/4 inches); Memorial tribute to Kenneth Winebrenner, 1975

Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Easter Morning in the Woods (left side), 1947-1960; charcoal and watercolor on paper, 39 1/2 x 29 1/2 inches (Frame: 42 1/4 x 32 1/4 inches); Memorial tribute to Kenneth Winebrenner, 1975

Originally created as a single painting, Easter Morning in the Woods was later split in half, reimagined as two independent scenes. Although unfinished, these works reveal Burchfield’s focus on composition—a keen sense rooted in his design training. But beyond his desire to perfect the paintings compositionally (made possible by his skillful ability to almost seamlessly join pieces of watercolor paper together), the sketched lines that begin to complete the scene hint at hallmarks of Burchfield’s masterworks. These radiating lines, synesthetic patterns, bold contrast, a sense of depth, and his poetic reverence for nature are all elements that connect meaningfully to Burchfield’s early design work.

Content developed by Tullis Johnson, Brian Grunert and Kyle Morrisey for the exhibition Charles E. Burchfield: By Design