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Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), The Studio, 1942; watercolor on joined paper, 30 1/2 x 26 inches; Gift of the Burchfield Foundation, 2006

Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), The Studio, 1942; watercolor on joined paper, 30 1/2 x 26 inches; Gift of the Burchfield Foundation, 2006

Burchfield’s Studio, 3574 Clinton Street, Gardenville, New York

In September 1928, three and a half years after he moved to Gardenville, Burchfield built a studio behind his home. During the summer of 1930, he had the studio moved onto a concrete foundation further back in the deep, narrow lot. This painting depicts the studio when it was still a freestanding structure. In 1959-60, Burchfield made repairs and alterations to his house, garage, studio, and yard that included attaching this building to additional, smaller structures to provide more space for painting, storing works, and for constructing frames.

This dark, pensive painting of the studio’s exterior, with its distinctive transom skylight, drastically contrasts the marvelous works Burchfield created inside. The vine-covered storage shed and trees reaching into lowering clouds suggest tumultuous feelings and uncertainty about the future during the escalation of World War II.