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: Sally Treanor, You Can See Forever, 2015, 18 x 18 inches, watercolor



  • Lars Gustaf Sellstedt

    Lars Gustaf Sellstedt

    A major supporter of Buffalo's cultural scene, Lars Sellstedt was one of the founders of the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy in 1862, and later authored the definitive volume Art in Buffalo (1910).

  • Alexis Jean Fournier

    Alexis Jean Fournier

    Alexis Jean Fournier (1865-1948) was born on the fourth of July, 1865 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Alexis Jean Fournier was one of the most flamboyant and enduring figures of the Arts and Crafts movementmore

  • James J. Vullo

    James J. Vullo

    James "Jimmy" J. Vullo (1914-1999) was a noted artist and teacher known for his cubist and expressionist style of regional landscape paintings and drawings. He was a lifelong resident of Buffalo Newmore

Featured Works

  • Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Spider and Grasshoppers, 1948; watercolor on joined paper mounted on, 44 x 34 inches; Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of the Burchfield Foundation, 1974
  • Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Memory of a Dream, March 15, 1919; watercolor and pencil on paper, 14 x 20 inches, Burchfield Penney Art Center, Purchased by Friends of the Center, 1975
  • Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), New Life, 1919-1963; watercolor on paper, 18 3/8 x 24 3/4 inches (Frame: 26 1/2 x 33 inches); Gift of the Burchfield Foundation, 1975
  • Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Reflections, March 1916; watercolor and gouache with graphite on paper, 14 x 19 7/8 inches; Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of Tony Sisti, 1979
  • Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Nature's Gothic Windows, May 1916; watercolor with graphite on paper, 8 7/8 x 11 7/8 inches; Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of Tony Sisti, 1979
  • Joseph Orffeo 1926-2013, Image of Man #6, 1971; watercolor on paper, 12 x 16 inches (Frame: 18 3/16 x 22 3/16 inches); Gift of the Artist, 1986
  • Joseph Orffeo 1926-2013, Untitled, 1952; watercolor on paper, 29 1/8 x 22 inches (Frame: 36 1/4 x 27 1/8 inches); Gift of Vern Stein, 1991
  • James J. Vullo (1914-1999), The Last of the Old Buffalo Public Library, 1963; watercolor and gouache on paper, Overall: 23 5/8 x 18 3/8 in. (60 x 46.7 cm) Frame: 34 11/16 x 28 3/4 in. (88.1 x 73 cm); The Charles Rand Penney Collection of Western New York Art at the Burchfield Art Center, 1992
  • David Pratt (1918-2010), Waterfront with Two People, 1948; watercolor on paper, Overall: 21 3/8 x 28 3/4 in. (54.3 x 73 cm); Gift of the Artist, 1992
  • Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), March Reflections, 1928; watercolor on paper, Overall: 4 3/4 x 5 7/8 in. (12.1 x 14.9 cm) Frame: 11 3/4 x 13 1/8 in. (29.8 x 33.3 cm); The Charles Rand Penney Collection of Work by Charles E. Burchfield, 1994
  • Frans Wildenhain (1905-1980), Untitled #1, Italy, 1936; graphite and watercolor on paper, 6 1/2 x 5 1/8 inches; The Charles Rand Penney Collection of Craft Art, 1994
  • Arthur E. Smith (1917-2012 ), Times Square, 1978; watercolor on paper, 30 x 38 inches; Art Endowment Fund, 1998
  • Catherine B. Parker (1926-2012), Response to Tavener (Wake up and die), 1999; watercolor, gouache and charcoal on paper, 44 x 35 1/2 inches (frame: 49 1/4 x 40 3/8 inches); Gift of the Artist, 1999
  • Lawrence Calcagno (1913-1993), Rose Black, 1956; watercolor and gouache on paper, 29 ¾ x 21 ¾ inches; Gift of the Wes and Gloria Olmsted, 2004
  • Ani Hoover (b. 1969), Text, 2003; watercolor on vellum, 34 x 22 inches (Frame: 39 1/4 x 27 1/4 inches); Gift of Gerald C. Mead Jr, 2004
  • Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Sun-glow on a Rainy Day, March 23, 1917; watercolor and gouache on paper, 15 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches (Frame: 32 5/8 x 26 1/2 inches); Gift of Peter E. and Elizabeth M. Parisi, 2005
  • Displaying 1-16 of 19
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