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For the Study of Burchfield

In 2013, the Burchfield Penney begins a residency program for researchers developing a discourse inspired by the work of Charles Burchfield. Funded through an endowment established in memory of founding director Edna Lindemann PhD with support in Dr. Lindemann’s name from Peter and Joan Andrews, two residencies will be awarded per year to scholars and artists who are uniquely influenced by Burchfield. The recipients will use the Burchfield Penney’s collections and archives to further their work and expand on the understanding of Charles Burchfield as a person and artist.


The 2015 Artist-in-Residence is Rochester, NY native Philip Koch.  Koch returns to Buffalo State, where in fall 1966, a chance meeting with a young art student changed his path. Having had his eyes opened to studying art, he changed his major at Oberlin College, and as spent the next almost 50 years in the making, study and teaching of art. Koch is Professor of Art at Maryland Institute College of Art Baltimore, MD. He is in many public and private collections and exhibits widely. Read his CV at www.PhilipKoch.org.

Koch is the great grandson of John Wallace, a Scottish landscape painter, and the grandson of John Capstaff, the inventor of the first commercially available color film, Kodachrome. Despite his family link to photography, Koch is committed to working from only direct observation or from memory rather than painting from photographs.

"There's a mysterious extra dimension that comes when you take your easel out into the field. To paint well you have to hear the wind rustle through the trees. We all came from nature. When we give her our sustained attention, she in turn allows us to reach the most emotionally resonant place within ourselves. My job as a painter is to reach that place and make paintings to share it with others," says Koch.

A student of Edward Hopper and the Hudson River School, Koch feels a kinship with Charles Burchfield's love of nature, and Burchfield's transformative way of conveying the majesty of the natural world through his paintings. Koch's residency will be a journey of discovery of Charles Burchfield, the places where Burchfield worked around Western New York, the artist's process and use of color and other revelations to be discovered in the Charles Burchfield Archives at the Burchfield Penney.

Koch will share his discoveries through the Burchfield Penney's blog and social networks.


The first participant selected is Jamestown-native Janelle Lynch, a photographer. For the past decade Lynch has recognized a kinship in her work to that of Burchfield that started as the result of a series of nature-related photographs. Widely exhibited, Lynch’s work is in several public and private collections including the Burchfield Penney, George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, the Brooklyn Museum, the Fundación Vila Casas, Barcelona, and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Salta, Argentina. In 2013, the Southeast Museum of Photography will exhibit work from Los Jardines de México (Radius Books). Based in New York, Lynch is also an educator and freelance writer. She is working on a new monograph of photographs from Barcelona 2007-2011 with Radius Books, was published in spring 2013.