International Center for Watercolor Share Tweet

A Resource for Artists and Scholars

The International Center for Watercolor at the Burchfield Penney Art Center is dedicated to the study, development and advancement of the watercolor medium.

The Burchfield Penney hold the world’s most comprehensive collection of paintings, drawings, journals, studies, prints, notes, doodles and wallpaper designs by American master Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967) as well as a re-creation of the artist’s Gardenville, NY studio.

Burchfield had close working relationships with teachers and contemporaries wherever he lived; the museum collects their work to provide historical context. His earliest group was affiliated with Cleveland School of Art, which Burchfield attended from 1912 to 1916. Friendships developed, leading to sketching trips and painting excursions in the farther-reaching Ohio countryside. These artists include August F. Biehle, Jr., Marsden Hartley, Henry G. Keller, William Sommer, Paul B. Travis, and Frank N. Wilcox.

The Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries in New York represented Burchfield from 1929 until years after his death. Between 1949 and 1953, Burchfield taught courses at the Art Institute of Buffalo; Ohio University in Athens, Ohio; the University of Buffalo; University of Minnesota in Duluth, Minnesota; and the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy.

The concentration of watercolor at Burchfield Penney extends additional focus through work in the collection by artists Rita Argen Auerbach, Robert Blair, John Carroll, Charles Clough, Virginia Cuthbert, Marsden Hartley, Edward Hopper, Peppino Mangravite, Reginald Marsh, Margaret Martin, Joseph Orffeo, Catherine Parker, David Pratt, Eugene Speicher, Ellen Steinfeld, Martha Visser’t Hooft, James Vullo, Joseph Whalen, Frank N. Wilcox, and others.

These unique collections provide even broader context and relevance through connections and affiliations with the Art Conservation Department, E.H. Butler Library at SUNY Buffalo State, and a variety of related archival holdings, references and resources at the Burchfield Penney.

The International Center for Watercolor offers an ongoing series of programs devoted to the medium, including workshops, lectures, presentations and demonstrations by renowned regional and national artists, educators and critics. These collections are accessible for the public to investigate the history, artists, theory, materials, and practice of watercolor. Scholars are invited to use the museum’s resources for their research, and fellowships are available for both scholars and students.

The Burchfield Penney hosts watercolor workshops, a lecture series, and demonstrations by renowned regional and national artists, educators, and critics to develop the scope of this important and popular medium. Demonstrations are documented with a range of artists enhancing the watercolor media in unique ways. For example, the art critic and artist Richard Huntington, former artistic director of Artpark, reveals in a demonstration video, his bold process painting, while Monica Angle, whose work is in collections nationwide, demonstrates the fluidity of her process using printmaking techniques combined with layering watercolor paints.

The Burchfield Penney Art Center invites watercolor enthusiasts to contribute to the social space to enjoy conversations on the media of watercolor, such as blogs on topics including special techniques and materials, favorite places to paint, and the use of watercolor as a sketch or in fashion illustration. The Center welcomes reviews that highlight watercolor exhibitions in varies communities and news from watercolor societies around the world.

The Burchfield Penney Art Center invites watercolor enthusiasts to become involved.. Contact Kathy Gaye Shiroki for further information on the Center for Watercolor at or call 716-878-3549.

Image above right:  Sandy Ludwig, Laundry Day, from the roof top series, 11 x 14 inches, Watercolor on paper



  • Charles E. Burchfield

    Watercolorist Charles Ephraim Burchfield (1893-1967) is one of America's most original artists. Best known for his romantic, often fantastic depictions of nature, Burchfield developed a unique stylemore

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