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Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Untitled (a.k.a. Rapids), c. May 27, 1916; watercolor, gouache and graphite on paper, 14 x 12 7/8 inches (Frame: 21 x 21 5/8 inches); Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of Tony Sisti, 1979

Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Untitled (a.k.a. Rapids), c. May 27, 1916; watercolor, gouache and graphite on paper, 14 x 12 7/8 inches (Frame: 21 x 21 5/8 inches); Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of Tony Sisti, 1979

Probably Bedford Glens, Ohio

Following a “Terrific Thunderstorm” on May 27, 1916 that was filled with vertical rain, almost simultaneous lightning and thunder, a green-white sky, and hail, Burchfield went hiking in Bedford Glens where he found “rivers frothing with yellow water.”  The effects were still evident after the following day’s rain, when “a dense fog arose obscuring the sunlight but the afterglow turned it all to a rich yellow, up & down the valley was endless space, rapids frothed at my feet — the wet shore reeked with plants —” The mud-filled water, possibly tinged with sulfur from the region’s coke smelting industry, still retained an odd beauty because of the thrilling action of the storm-induced rush of the river.—NW